Posted on June 29, 2016
Remember that great nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty?
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
Well, from the sound of it, Humpty Dumpty’s day could have gone better. It is safe to say that from this one fall, these injuries greatly impacted his life. Have you ever wondered what the context was in this situation, or how he even fell off that wall?
If we were to retell this story, let’s say that Humpty Dumpty was working for the King, and fell off while he was on the job fixing a few bricks along the broken wall. Considering his damages caused from this serious accident, this makes for a great case for Humpty to get Workers’ Compensation.
These are the stages Humpty Dumpty should be going through to file a Workers’ Compensation claim:
He needs to figure out if there is coverage for Workers’ Compensation. The two factors that determine his coverage are:
Under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, every employer and employee, with certain notable exceptions, is presumed to be covered. However, the presumption of Workers’ Compensation coverage does not apply to:
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy against an Employer for Employee’s work-related accident. Even if the accident was due to the King’s fault or negligence, Humpty cannot bring a civil suit against his Employer to recover damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages. However, if the accident was the fault or due to the negligence of an actor outside the scope of employment, Humpty could bring a civil action for damages against that actor. The attorneys at Popowski, Callas & Shirley can help you identify and pursue a 3rd-party action.
The next step for Humpty is to immediately report his injury to the employer and request medical treatment for his injuries. Humpty should also complete a first report of injury, listing all of his injuries and keep a copy. In South Carolina, an Employee injured on the job has 90 days to give notice of the accident to his or her Employer, but should do so as soon as possible. Some Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies will attempt to discredit an employee’s testimony when notice is not given as soon as possible. It is also important that your employer notify his or her Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company so that your benefits can be started.
In a real world context, if you have fallen while working and have been injured, these benefits should be paid by your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company:
Humpty Dumpty may have been a good egg but he probably did not understand the complexities of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and the several changes to the law that have occurred in recent years. It is important that you get the information you need as soon as possible. Missing deadlines such as notice periods and statutes of limitations, or settling 3rd-party claims, or applying for Social Security may adversely affect what you are able to recover.