I Was Involved in a Truck Accident. Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Me?
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, you may have some questions about what workers’ compensation does or does not cover. Consider some of these frequently asked question and their answers to determine whether you may or may not have a claim.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Whether you are covered or not firstly depends on your employment status. Independent contractors may not be covered. However, if you are an owner or operator, you may have occupational insurance, which is different from workers’ compensation. If you are covered by your employer’s policy, you can be covered for injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment. The most common example is a truck accident, which could be a single car accident or multi-vehicle pileup. You could also assert a claim if you get hurt after a slip and fall, either on the truck or someone else’s property.
When Should I File My Claim?
Quickly! Failure to timely file your workers’ compensation claim can result in your claim being denied outright, and the time limit is quite short- in some states, it is less than three weeks. Workers’ compensation claims can have a separate statute of limitations. South Carolina is one state that follows the legal doctrine of “Statute of Limitations.” South Carolina Code of Laws § 42-15-20(B) states that the employee must report any injury to their employer within ninety (90) days. S.C. Code of Laws § 42-15-40 further gives the injured employee two (2) years to file their workers’ compensation claim with the State Workers’ Compensation Commission. Again – it cannot be stressed enough – you must immediately, or within a practicable time, notify your employer as soon as the injury occurs or you could lose the opportunity to receive your entitled workers’ compensation benefits.
What Kinds of Benefits Are Available to Injured Truckers?
Workers’ compensation generally covers three different forms of damages, or provides compensation for three types of “injuries”- medical benefits, wage benefits, and disability benefits. Medical benefits cover treatment related to the accident like medical bills, physical therapy, and prescriptions. Wage benefits compensate the injured worker for a portion of his or her average weekly pay. To be eligible, a doctor must recommend taking the employee off of work. Disability benefits are awarded if an injury becomes permanent.
Does It Matter Who Was at Fault in Order to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Generally, no. The employee must only show that he or she became injured in the course and scope of employment. For instance, if you were making a delivery on your normal route, you may be covered, but may not be if you took a detour to run a personal errand.
What Do I Do Now?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, your first step should be to get in touch with an attorney with specific experience handling truck accident claims. The skilled Columbia personal injury attorneys at the Stanley Law Group are eager to assist you with your case today.