Special Rules for Workers’ Compensation Cases

The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC), which administers workers’ comp across the state, allows you 90 days to report a work-related injury or illness and two years to file a workers’ comp claim with the SCWCC.

Worsening Condition Deadline

If your claim is accepted, you receive benefits, and you complete all your medical treatment but feel that your condition is getting worse, you may file another Form 50 with the SCWCC for your worsening condition. You must do so within one year after receiving your last benefit payment.

Workers’ Compensation Deadline Exceptions and Extensions

Although the workers’ comp statute of limitations is a hard deadline in most cases, a few rare exceptions are possible for:

  • Death claims. If an employee dies in a fatal work-related accident, the surviving family members are excused from the 90-day reporting rule but still must file a claim within two years.
  • Waivers. If your employer voluntarily waives the statute of limitations or fails to invoke it when two years have passed, you may still file your claim for benefits.
  • Estoppel. An employer that wrongfully prevents you from filing a claim within the two-year time period cannot invoke the statute of limitations as a defense.
  • Cognitive or mental disability. If your injury or illness renders you mentally incapable of filing a claim, the statute is tolled (stopped) until you can do so.
  • Minors. If you’re under 18 when you sustain your injury or illness, the statute is tolled until you reach legal age. 

Federal Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations

If you’re a federal worker in South Carolina, you’re covered by federal, not state, workers’ compensation. The filing procedure and statute of limitations differ for federal workers.

You must file a federal workers’ comp claim within three years from the date of your injury or the date when you know or should reasonably know you’ve developed a medical condition as a result of your work. 

If you miss the three-year deadline, your claim might be accepted if your employer becomes aware of your injury or illness within 30 days of your accident or diagnosis. 

As with state claims, it’s a good idea to report and file as early as possible with the assistance of a South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer.

Three Years Can Go by Quickly

Three years may seem like plenty of time to file a personal injury accident case. However, several essential things need to happen before you file your case.


An experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer will investigate your accident claim to gather as much evidence as possible. It can take time to gather police reports, locate and talk with witnesses, secure video surveillance, and locate other relevant evidence.

Medical Care

Injury victims need time to seek medical care and for their care providers to make a diagnosis. Future medical care and costs can be a significant factor in many accident claims, so having as much information as possible is essential.


Filing a claim can involve a significant amount of paperwork, both for the actual filing and in support of the claim. Locating, completing, and gathering documents can take time.

Remember, you have until the statute of limitations expires to file your personal injury claim, but you can file any time before that date. One of our experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyers can advise you on when and how to file your claim and handle all aspects of the filing for you so that your rights are protected. With an attorney handling your case, you can focus on your recovery and well-being while they handle the legal aspects, ensuring your rights are protected.

Dirk J. Derrick
Connect with me
South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.