Workers Comp Should Pay for Kickball Injury
South Carolina’s high court ruled that a man, who was required to go to a company kickball game, is entitled to workers comp to help pay for medical expenses from a kickball injury.
On Wednesday, August 27th, the state Supreme Court ruled that Stephen Whigham was required to attend the game as part of his job with Jackson Dawson Communications. The kickball game was a team-building activity for employees, which meant that all employees were required to participate in the sport.
During the game, Whigham sustained a leg injury in which he shattered two bones and ultimately needed a knee replacement.
When he applied for workers comp to help cover the expense of treatment and surgery, his claim was initially denied because the commission said that he was not required to attend the game. Whigham appealed the decision.
The high court recognized that Whigham was actually required to be present at the game, because it was one of his job duties to organize the team-building event. He has finally been awarded workers comp for his medical costs.
Workers Comp in South Carolina
Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.
South Carolina does not award workers compensation to workers who are intoxicated on the job. This accusation could be used as “employer retaliation,” however, and the claim is difficult to prove. Just because your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, denies your workers’ compensation claim does not mean that they are right to deny your workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ Comp Benefits Can Be Denied if Your Employer Claims:
- You intentionally injured yourself. This means the injuries were self-inflicted and will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Your work accident occurred while you were carrying out a serious crime.
- You weren’t on the job (or operating on behalf of your job) when the injury occurred. Ex. An accident while driving home from work would not be considered a job-related injury.
- Your work injury was a direct result of violating company policy.
- Your accident resulted from intoxication.
- You refuse a medical evaluation for the insurance company.
- You refuse recommended medical treatment.
- You did not notify your employer about your injury within 90 days of your accident.
If the employer is using a legal reason to deny workers’ comp, you need to determine if the reason is valid, or if it is a false accusation against you (such as a work injury due to intoxication). Your employer also may not want to accept your work injury, especially if your injury is difficult to prove and requires you to seek legal assistance. Some job-related injuries employers may initially deny are from repetitive injuries, stress, mental conditions, and environmental conditions such as claims of toxic exposure.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case.803.252.4800.