Workers’ Compensation

Charleston South Carolina Workers’ Compensation

In Charleston, South Carolina, Workers Compensation may be applicable when three conditions are present:

  1. the existence of an employee-employer relationship, as defined by the SC WORKERS COMPENSATION law;
  2. a work activity or process in the furtherance of the employer‘s business; and,
  3. an injury, illness or condition which is directly attributed to the employee’s work and not some other likely cause or event.

In Charleston, Workers’ Compensation claims are generated from a broad variety of employers, private businesses, corporations, and government entities. From a business standpoint, the Charleston area has seen considerable growth in the past thirty-five (35) years. Existing industries (tourism and hospitality, manufacturers of automotive components, chemicals, bridge construction, shipping and logistics, and ports and related maritime activity), have all undergone dynamic changes and expansion, and continue to employ thousands in the region. In recent years, Charleston has become the site of development in the areas of aerospace/aviation, security and information technology, biomedical and energy production. In addition to the civilian workforce assigned on or about the military installations in Charleston, the US government remains a formidable employer with hundreds of employees in its numerous agency offices in the area. Both the US govt. and many of the larger employers in the Charleston rely on workers supplied through sub-contractors, staffing agencies, etc., and work closely with vendor companies in the area.

In Charleston, the effect is that different kinds of employers and industries produce different kinds of Workers Compensation claims. Often, getting to the bottom of a WORKERS COMPENSATION situation is often more complicated than in the instance where there are only a few significant employers in a given area. In Charleston and the surrounding counties, Berkeley and Dorchester, the injured worker himself may not be aware of the liable employer in his case, nor the applicable jurisdiction.

Federal Claims and Longshore Harbor Workers Claims:

Claims involving civil servants, miners, nuclear energy workers or railroad employees usually fall under the one of the specific Federal workers’ compensation laws. In a seaport as large as Charleston, however, cases involving persons injured performing work in a capacity similar to that of a longshoreman, stevedore or checker might fall under the SC Workers Compensation Law, the Longshore Harbor Workers Act, or both jurisdictions. Also, there are many Federal government contractors in the Charleston area with local employees. Persons injured while working overseas for government contractors might have claims which fall under yet another Federal workers’ compensation law, the Defense Base Act. Lastly, many of the employers in Charleston, particularly in the housing and bridge construction industries, tend to be regional. The injured worker in Charleston may find that his employer has reported his work injury to the workers’ compensation authority in another state altogether. In addition to the potential for concurrent or overlapping jurisdictions and potential third party claims, workers compensation claims might also involve legal issues pursuant to other state or federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act. In the law office of Pete Brown, our South Carolina workers comp lawyers recognize the subtle differences, exploring the circumstances and the potential for other claims or conflicts to be involved in a given worker’s case. If it appears that your case has potential for claims in addition to the workers compensation and third-party cases, we will refer that aspect of your case to an attorney who is knowledgeable about that area of law.

The relatively low cost of doing business has attracted regional, national, and global companies alike to the Charleston area. It is important to realize that workers’ compensation is a “doing business” expense. Also, prevailing economic conditions in Charleston may ultimately impact the handling and outcomes of individual SC workers compensation cases in the Charleston area.

What might have begun as a straightforward and accepted Workers Compensation claim might become a hot potato back and forth between insurance carriers for the two companies, for reasons that are really unrelated to your case or you as the injured worker.