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5 Myths About Workers’ Compensation Debunked

October 31, 2017

Workers' compensation myths debunked

Navigating the world of workers’ compensation can be overwhelming, especially when there are misconceptions and myths about how the process is supposed to work. Workers’ comp laws vary in each state, which means it’s important for both employees and employers to understand their roles, responsibilities and rights. At Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys, we’ve heard plenty of myths throughout the years; here are a few common examples you should stop believing right now:

1. Workers’ Compensation is Only for Large Companies

In most states, including the Carolinas, employers must have a workers’ compensation policy in place if their business employs a certain amount of full-time and part-time employees. North Carolina requires three or more employees and South Carolina requires at least four. What happens when companies don’t follow this rule? They’re faced with hefty fines and penalties. Luckily, the Carolinas are cracking down on this noncompliance problem!

2. Independent Contractors Cannot Receive Workers’ Compensation

Employers often assume independent contractors cannot file a claim if they’re hurt on the job.  The truth is that some states allow contractors to pursue workers’ compensation while others don’t. The best solution is to consult with a local workers’ compensation attorney or employer’s insurance provider for more information. Under workers’ compensation law in the Carolinas, employers are not off the hook of providing workers’ comp to contractors because their courts look into several factors that determine a worker’s title. If the court agrees that the worker is an actual employee, the employer is responsible for providing benefits according to the North or South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

3. You Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim Any Time After an Injury

Waiting too long to file a claim after an injury may result in no workers’ compensation benefits. In North and South Carolina, injured employees must file within two years of the date of their injury. Don’t wait until the medical bills start piling up – if you’re injured at work and need medical attention, file a workers’ comp claim immediately.

4. Workers’ Compensation Covers all Costs Related to an Injury

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not cover every financial burden an employee suffers after an accident on the job. For example, compensation is not provided for pain and suffering no matter how serious the injury. That type of damage is settled in negligence lawsuits. When workers’ comp claims are filed and handled correctly, workers will receive the right compensation for medical bills and associated costs. It’s only when an employer or the insurance company denies or has been negligent to the claim that employees can file a lawsuit to win the compensation they deserve.

5. Most Employees are Faking Their Injuries to get Workers’ Compensation

We cannot deny there are a small handful people who outright lie about an injury to collect compensation, but the fact is that the frauds are outnumbered by honest employees that make legitimate claims. People get hurt on the job – we see it all the time. And those injuries usually require medical treatment and sometimes ongoing physical therapy sessions in order to make a full recovery. When it comes down to it, injured workers simply want to get the medical care they’re entitled in order to get back on track with normal life.

We hope this clears up some of the many myths out there about workers’ compensation. Remember, if you’re injured on the job, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation. If you’re feeling unsure about anything, whether you’re filing a claim or having trouble with an employer, contact our attorneys. We’re here to provide counsel on your case and put your mind at ease as you work through the process!