If you’ve been injured on the job and have to miss work, you’re probably worrying about your future with the company. Many of us have heard harsh rumors about people being fired for taking too many days off, regardless of the reason.
But if you’ve been injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation, and as such, South Carolina law protects you against retaliation for filing for or receiving this entitlement.
How do I know my injury is from work?
First, you need to understand if your injury or illness entitles you to workers’ compensation. Any injury you suffered while in the course of your job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if it required medical treatment and prevents you from returning to your job (short term, long term, or permanently).
Some examples of work-related injuries include: a back injury from a fall or from overexertion; an eye injury from a piece of scrap or a saw; a heart attack from unusual overexertion; a laceration or cut from a saw; a burn from a torch or welder; a ladder accident; an auto accident while in the course and scope of your duties (whether in your own car or a company car); workplace exposure to toxins; cumulative injury from everyday tasks (such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel from repetitive movements); or any number of other mishaps.
Some illnesses are also considered work-related, especially those brought on by stress.
For more help on determining if your injury is from your job, read our blog, “Is Your Injury or Illness Work Related?”
If you have been injured or made sick at your job, you should file for workers’ compensation right away, as the law limits the time in which you are able to file after the injury.
My boss will be angry. How do I know I won’t be fired?
If you are legitimately injured and have a medical opinion saying so (in other words, you’ve been to a doctor who says you can’t work due to an injury), then you are protected by South Carolina statutory law. You should never be fired for filing workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you are at all threatened that you will lose your job or you are actually fired for having a work-related injury, then you may be entitled to reinstatement (getting your job back) and receiving lost wages as damages for a being wrongly fired.
Your employer and the insurance company they work with have expert lawyers working to defend their case. It’s important that you also have knowledgeable attorneys fighting for you. Contact the Hodge & Langley Law Firm today to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in South Carolina.