What is Subrogation in Workers' Compensation?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 8, 2018 1:59:34 PM

Although worker's compensation is the exclusive remedy against an injured worker's employer, there are some cases in which the injured worker can also pursue a claim against the at-fault. 

This means that the injured worker may be able to pursue a recovery from both workers' compensation and the at-fault third party. 

There is some overlap in the benefits that an injured worker can collect from workers' compensation and the at-fault, which means that the injured worker may recover twice for the same injury.  To prevent this from happening, the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act provides that the workers' compensation provider has a right of "subrogation" and get paid back for the benefits it paid from any liability recovery from the at-fault third party.

What is subrogation in Workers' Compensation? How does the right to recovery work in these situations? Let's take a closer look.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

What to Do When Your Employer Denies Medical Leave

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 25, 2018 11:57:27 AM

Crystal Reynolds Fisher's 18-year-old son became sick with a fever, ending up on life support as he deteriorated rapidly. Crystal, who works at a gas station in her local Albion, Michigan community, texted her boss to let her know that she would need to take time off work in order to be close to her son during his recovery.

Dawn's response was chilling: "If you can't come to work, that's you quitting."

Crystal posted the text conversation on her personal Facebook page, where it quickly began to spread and eventually appeared on national news organization websites detailing Crystal's situation.

In the case of Ms. Fisher, the company she works for terminated the employment of the manager after her story made national news and granted her medical leave as needed. 

But... what if you don't have a story that 'goes viral', attracting national attention and putting pressure on a company to approve emergency leave?

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Does Workers’ Compensation Reimburse Travel Expenses? (And Other Common Workers’ Comp Questions Answered) .

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Mar 21, 2018 8:52:30 AM

For employees who become injured or even ill due to workplace events or conditions, Workers' Compensation can be the bridge they need to get from the initial injury to total recovery without losing the ability to make ends meet.

While most employees have heard of Workers' Comp during employee orientation or special safety presentations, there's a lot of that isn't widely understood.

Workers' Compensation insurance, which accounts for nearly 1.6% of employer spending overall (according to this report from the Center for Construction Research and Training), is a complex program that many day-to-day employees don't know much about.

We thought we'd take today to answer a few frequently asked questions about Workers' Compensation in South Carolina.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Uber's Workers' Compensation Pilot Program and What It Means For South Carolina

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jan 10, 2018 9:51:20 AM

Uber and Workers Compensation in Columbia, SCThe shift to highly-automated workplaces and overall wage stagnation has been leading more and more individuals to choose freelance work as a primary or secondary job.

Since Uber and related companies classify their drivers as "independent contractors" and not traditional employees, they offer a measure of freedom (drivers choose their own hours and have some control over how much income they bring in), but also some very big risks.

The biggest risk to South Carolina Uber drivers?  

Jobs that involve driving professionally also involve a heightened potential for vehicle collisions that could cause injuries, automobile damage, or worse and as independent contractors, Uber drivers may not be covered by state workers' compensation laws. 

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Can You File for Workers Compensation for Occupational Hearing Loss?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jun 14, 2017 10:29:53 AM

Although it too often goes unrecognized, noise-induced hearing loss is a fairly common health problem in the United States. People who report excellent hearing often test positive for hearing damage, and work exposure to loud noise increases the possibility of noise-induced hearing loss with time.

If you've been exposed to dangerously loud noises and have suffered from hearing damage as a result of workplace conditions, you may be wondering if you're eligible for Workers' Compensation to help cover the costs associated with your partial or total workplace-related hearing loss.

Let's take a look.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Should I Settle My Workers' Compensation Case?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on May 30, 2017 2:14:20 PM

Filing for Workers' Compensation after an on-the-job injury or workplace-related illness can involve a lot of complexity.

While "fill out the Accident Report and turn it in to your supervisor" seems like a simple enough starting point, in the end you, your employer, and the insurance company that provides insurance coverage for the employer will all be involved in trying to bring your WC claim to a satisfactory conclusion.

Unfortunately, what sort of outcome is considered "satisfactory" to your employer and the insurance company they work with may be very different from what is satisfactory for you.  

Any time you receive the suggestion to settle, you need to ask yourself the following question:

"Is it more beneficial for me to settle my Workers' Compensation case, or will it benefit me more to have the matter decided by the Workers' Compensation Commission?"

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Occupational Exposure to Harmful Chemicals: Are You at Risk?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on May 3, 2017 1:55:20 PM

The simple truth is that most of us spend half or even most of our waking hours in the workplace. No matter what your occupation, potential exposure to harmful chemicals could leave you sickened, unable to work, and fighting to gain access to the Workers' Compensation you are due.

Today, we'll take a look through occupational exposure to harmful chemicals and what steps to take to protect yourself in the event of illness or injury.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Workers Compensation and Medicare: What if You Settle Your Case?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Apr 18, 2017 8:54:32 AM

Last week, we took a look at how Workers Compensation claims can affect other government benefits, such as Social Security Disability (or SSDI), Medicare, and more.

One thing we just touched on in that post was how your access to and benefits from Medicare can be affected.

Today, we'll go a little more in-depth and answer the question, "What happens to my Medicare if I settle my Workers Compensation claim?"

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Does Workers Compensation Affect Medicare or Other Benefits?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Apr 6, 2017 12:48:39 PM

Workers Compensation can be granted for any number of workplace-related injuries or illnesses caused by the workplace environment, including slips and falls, mental injuries, and more.

Previously, we've answered Workers Compensation question like:

Many workers who receive Workers Compensation may do so while receiving other benefits like SSDI or Medicare, and this grows more common as the average age of the American employee rises. Does Workers Compensation affect Medicare or other government benefits? Let's take a look.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

My Employer Denied My Workers Compensation Claim. Can I Take Them to Court?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Feb 28, 2017 10:32:44 AM

Although work environments are much safer than in years past, work injuries still happen. Approximately 35,000 claims are filed each year in South Carolina for work related injuries or illnesses. South Carolina's Workers Compensation law can cover the costs of medical care and provided compensation for time off work required for recovery after an on-the-job illness or injury.  Additionally, if the injury results in permanent disability, you may also be entitled to additional benefits for that disability

If your workers compensation claim was denied, you may be wondering what to do next. Should you take your boss or company to court to attempt to recover the costs of medical care and time spent off work? Today, we'll walk through the basics of why a claim might be denied, and what steps you should take to ensure your individual rights are respected.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation