South Carolina has specific procedures that employees must follow regarding workers’ compensation claims. One of the requirements is that you must report an on-the-job injury to your employer as soon as it occurs.
You may sometimes need to go an extra step, however. A South Carolina Department of Transportation worker needed to bring his case to the South Carolina Court of Appeals in order to finally receive his benefits.
SC Department of Transportation wins first appeal to deny benefits
Although the worker received an initial claim approval from a workers’ compensation commissioner, the SCDOT appealed the decision based on a lack of adequate notice regarding the injury. The Workers’ Compensation Commission Appellate Panel sided with the SCDOT and reversed the initial decision to award benefits. As reported by Safety News Alert, the injured worker then appealed to a higher court.
Higher court rules for workers’ comp benefits
The South Carolina Court of Appeals heard the case and decided that, in this case, passing out in front of your boss may serve as adequate notice for a workers’ comp claim. According to court documents, the injured worker regained consciousness but passed out again upon arriving home. His wife took him to a hospital where a neurosurgeon diagnosed the worker with cervical stenosis, a condition caused by wear and tear along the spine in the neck area. The worker did not return to work the next day and the SCDOT received notification that he required surgery.
Prior to losing consciousness in front of his supervisor, the man’s work assignment was flattening out newly poured concrete with a 30-foot-long tool called a “squeegee board.” Concerned over the man’s age and his appearing overheated, his supervisor pulled him off the assignment. The worker also felt a “snap” in his neck and shoulders while pulling the squeegee board along the freshly poured concrete, but did not mention it at the time.
A well-argued appeal may reverse a benefits denial
Work-related accidents may not always be an open-and-shut case for workers’ compensation. In some instances, you may require an assertive appeal to a higher court to obtain the benefits you deserve.