Difference Between 90 Days to Notify and 2 Years to File as it Relates to Workers’ Compensation

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Man with a black eye in an orange helmetSouth Carolina workers’ compensation insurance regulations can be very complex and complicated and one of the most perplexing questions we often deal with here at Dan Pruitt Law Firm is the 90 days to notify versus the 2 years to file question.

All injuries which occur at work, whether at the actual jobsite, traveling to a client’s workplace or when employees are gathered for a company outing or training session, need be reported to the employer immediately. This should always be done regardless if immediate medical attention is required. Many injuries don’t begin to cause problems until hours, days or even weeks after the event. This is one of the reasons South Carolina workers’ compensation law stipulates an injured worker has 90 days in which to alert their employer.

This rule also comes into play when an employee has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, repetitive injury, hearing loss or a wide array of occupational diseases caused by exposure to hazardous work related materials. In the case of a chronic or reoccurring workplace illness or injury, state law requires these claims must be handled as a new claim and the employee is still required to notify their employer within 90 days of the reoccurrence or necessary medical treatment.

South Carolina workers’ compensation law is quite clear about the 90 days to notify. If this does not occur, you may lose your right to benefits. Chances are your place of employment has strict rules in place on the chain of command when a workplace injury occurs. More than likely your supervisor has been trained to immediately contact the human resources department which in turn will start the process of filing your South Carolina workers’ compensation claim.

Unfortunately, not every company has a process in place and as the injured employee you only discover this when the medical bills start piling up and those promised checks never materialize. Again, while most companies or their insurance carrier will automatically file your claim with the state, as the injured individual or their representative, you bear the responsibility of ensuring this actually occurs. In the case where an employee becomes incapacitated or dies because of work related injuries, their spouse, children or parents are allowed to file.

If your employee doesn’t file your claim then in order to receive your benefits it will be necessary for you to file Form 50 directly with the Commission. You can also contact the Workers’ Compensation Claims Department to request the necessary forms be sent to you in the mail. You may at this juncture want to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in order to ensure you are applying for everything you are legally entitled to receive. South Carolina workers’ compensation requires an employer cover all medical treatment related to the injury or illness, loss of wages if you are unable to work due to your medical condition, long term disability compensation and death benefits if a loved one was lost because of a workplace accident.

As you can see, it is vitally important to follow both time requirements when it comes to your workers’ compensation claim. Not sure of the next step? Please connect with Dan Pruitt Law Firm today by calling 864-232-4273. Dealing with all the red tape can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you are injured and in pain. Mr. Pruitt and his experienced legal staff are here to ensure your legal rights are secure.

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