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When a workplace injury falls outside of workers’ compensation

by Mark C. Tanenbaum on Oct. 09, 2017

Employment Workers' Compensation 

Summary: When a workplace injury falls outside of workers’ compensation

When a worker in South Carolina is injured on the job, they are usually surprised to learn that the amount of money that they will recover is limited by the workers' compensation system. These rules, which apply to almost all workplace injuries, place strict restrictions upon the workers.

Under the workers' compensation laws, individuals are forced to see doctors selected by their employer's insurance companies. These doctors might prescribe treatment plans that do not adequately address a worker's injuries.

For some who have been injured in workplace accidents, there may be additional options available. If a worker is injured due to the action of a third party, like a contractor or a manufacturer of a machine, it is possible that they also may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the individual or companies responsible for the accident. These types of industrial workplace accidents frequently happen in factories when workers are using heavy duty equipment.

There are many reasons why a worker would pursue a third-party claim. Individuals are able to see their own doctors. This familiarity often allows workers to get a much more specialized course of treatment, which will be very beneficial to their long-term health.

These workers can also bring claims for damages, such as pain and suffering, in addition to lost wages and medical expenses incurred while they were dealing with their injuries. This is extremely important, as it can greatly increase the amount of money that they may recover as a result of the accident.

These cases are often very complex, and will require extensive, in-depth investigations to determine the causes of the accident. Often, employers and the third parties will make considerable efforts to have the workers' compensation system apply, which can be very frustrating for those who have been injured.

If you have questions about a workplace injury due to a defective machine or actions of a third party, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You need to be able to preserve the evidence of the accident, and if you wait too long, it could complicate your potential case.

Once you have discussed your claims with an attorney, the investigation into the case can start. You will then learn the options available to you, and make a decision about how you wish to move forward. Your attorney can explain the situation, and aggressively advocate for your rights. You need to be sure that you are protecting yourself at this time.

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