For individuals injured at their workplace, Workers’ Compensation benefits can provide them with the ability to get the medical treatment they need. Unfortunately, not all types of jobs or injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance. Understanding the following basics of Workers’ Compensation insurance is the first step toward protecting your rights.
Not All Workers are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
An individual must be an employee to obtain Workers’ Compensation for their injuries. Business owners, sole proprietors, and partners do not automatically qualify as employees. These individuals may have the option to purchase their own Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Unpaid volunteers who do charitable work or assist nonprofit corporations generally do not qualify as employees. Even if the unpaid volunteer receives food, transportation, or lodging, they are typically not entitled to Workers’ Compensation unless the organization elects to purchase additional coverage.
Employees who work for the federal government, railroad or dock workers in the longshore industry normally do not fall within the traditional Workers’ Compensation system. These workers receive compensation for their workplace injuries through different means. The Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) covers industrial injuries and occupational diseases for federal employees. Separate Workers’ Compensation systems for railroad and dock workers fall under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Individuals who work for a company as independent contractors also will not be covered under Workers’ Compensation insurance. At times, it is difficult to determine if a person is working as an employee or independent contractor for the purposes of Workers’ Compensation eligibility. Just because your employer refers to you as an independent contractor doesn’t automatically disqualify you from benefits. Consult with an experienced South Carolina Workers’ Compensation lawyer for assistance in this matter.
Many state laws set forth additional categories of workers who may not be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
Not All Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
Some job-related injuries may not be covered under Workers’ Compensation, including injuries related to an employee’s drug or alcohol use at work and injuries sustained while the employee was engaging in illegal conduct or in behavior that was against company policy, such as fighting with a co-worker.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for the Rights of Injured Workers
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the Workers’ Compensation system. Call us at 866-881-8623 to schedule your free initial consultation or submit an online inquiry form.
We handle work injury claims across South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.