Workers’ comp provides no-fault coverage of SC employees’ work-related injuries and occupational illnesses. If your company employs four or more workers, it’s probably required to carry workers’ comp insurance. As long as you did not intentionally cause your own injury, you may file a claim for benefits, and your employer may not retaliate against you for doing so.
Accidents and Injuries Commonly Suffered by Movers
Lifting and carrying very heavy or awkwardly shaped furniture, appliances, and other items can lead to a variety of accidents and injuries for movers.
Common Injuries Suffered by Movers in South Carolina
Slip- or trip-and-fall mishaps.
Carrying a heavy, awkwardly shaped, or unbalanced item can cause a mover to slip or trip and fall. Sprained or twisted joints can result, as well as fractured bones in hands or arms when the worker braces to break the fall. Such injuries might leave a mover unable to work for days, weeks, or longer.
Broken or crushed extremities.
Even though heavy gloves and safety shoes are recommended for professional movers, very heavy items regularly fall on or crush hands, fingers, feet, and toes. All bone injuries are very painful, and some require surgery, which generally renders the mover unable to work for a period of weeks or months. Returning to work too soon increases the risk of re-injuring an unhealed bone and losing even more time from your job.
Moving glass tables, mirrors, carelessly packed dishes, and glassware exposes a mover to the danger of cuts and lacerations from broken items or sharp edges that might protrude from a box or other covering. Serious cuts can result in blood loss and require stitches to heal.
Lifting heavy items improperly, lifting too much weight, or failing to get assistance when an item is too heavy for one person to lift can result in herniated discs, misaligned vertebrae, soft tissue injuries, and spinal nerve damage. All such injuries are extremely painful and debilitating, sometimes requiring chiropractic care or surgery and leading to temporary or permanent disability.
The daily strain on a mover’s bones, joints, and muscles can lead to painful repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and stress fractures, which can result in extended time off work and significant wage loss.
Filling a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you suffer one of the injuries above or any other in the course of doing your job, you should take the following steps:
- Report your injury to your supervisor or a claims representative at your workplace.
- If your employer does not file a workers’ comp claim on your behalf with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC), do so yourself by using a Form 50 from the SCWCC website.
- See a doctor approved by your employer’s workers’ comp insurer. (Do not simply visit your own doctor; doing so could weaken your claim.)
- Follow the doctor’s advice and treatment plans. Keep all appointments, take all medication as prescribed, retain receipts and other documentation of your treatment, and keep a daily journal of your symptoms, treatment, recovery, and ability to perform the physical functions required by your job.
- If your employer’s insurer denies your claim, is slow to approve necessary treatments, fails to pay your weekly benefits after your claim is approved, tries to force you back to work too soon, or is uncooperative in any way, consult a workers’ comp attorney.
Although you have 90 days to report your injury and two years to file your claim, you should do both as soon as possible after your accidental injury. Any delay on your part could be used by the insurer as evidence that you’re not as badly hurt as you say you are and make it harder for you to collect fair benefits.
Have You Been Injured On The Job In Florence?
If you've been hurt at your job in or around Florence, South Carolina, you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Florence personal injury office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Charleston, Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.