Even Tripping at Work Can Be Compensated Through Workers’ Compensation
Rock Hill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer
In two decisions handed down by the South Carolina Supreme Court, the court held that workers who suffer an injury at work – even if that same injury could have happened someone other than work – can receive workers’ compensation benefits. In both cases, the injured plaintiffs had tripped and fallen while at work, suffering injuries. Both workers had their claims initially denied on the grounds that the workers’ accidents could have happened anywhere and there was nothing specific or notable about the walking surfaces or hallways that contributed to the accidents. But the South Carolina Supreme Court disagreed, holding that all that was required in order for a worker to receive benefits was a causal connection between a worker’s employment and his or her injuries.
Facts of the Cases
In the first case, an administrative assistant was walking down a hallway in order to check the e-mail of a co-worker when she tripped and fell. In the second case, a supervisor for the South Carolina Department of Social Services was walking to a meeting when she also tripped and fell in a hallway, suffering injuries. In the first instance, the administrative assistant’s claim was denied on the grounds that her employer was not to blame for her accident. The other woman’s claim was denied after a workers’ compensation commissioner found that the injury could have been sustained anywhere, and there was nothing special or noteworthy about the floor at her workplace that would have made a tripping accident more likely.
What Then Do I Need to Show to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In both instances, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that all that a workers’ compensation plaintiff must show in order to receive benefits is a “causal connection” between the plaintiff’s injuries and his or her employment. It does not matter how accident-prone the plaintiff is or whether the injury is of a kind that could also be suffered at home or at a grocery store (for instance).
In some cases, showing this connection is relatively straightforward. In each of the two cases, for example, the plaintiffs were injured while they were at their workplace and on their way to accomplish some work-related task. In other cases, however, showing the “causal connection” can be more difficult.
Do I Need a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
While you do not need a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to file for benefits, retaining one can increase your chances of recovering benefits quickly. An attorney can review the facts of your claim and help you complete the necessary paperwork. If difficulties arise in your case – if, for instance, a commissioner states your injury is not work-related – an attorney can argue for benefits on your behalf.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.