You may have heard that South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury claims. If you get hurt in an accident, as long as you were no more than 50 percent responsible for what happened, you can collect compensation from the other party. The amount you receive is reduced by the percentage of liability the jury finds you committed.
Workers’ compensation is different
If you have been injured at work, you might be worried that the same rule applies. But workers’ compensation does not work like that in South Carolina. Who was at fault is not a factor in workers’ comp claims. What matters is whether your injuries are related to your work and occurred during the course of employment. The only exception is in cases where the injured worker was being extremely negligent, such as by being intoxicated on the job.
Comparative fault and third-party claims
One way comparative negligence might become a factor in your work injury case is if you pursue a third-party claim. This arises when some third party other than yourself or your employer negligently caused or contributed to your injuries. In that case, fault becomes an issue and the rules of comparative negligence would apply. If you go to trial, any amount that you negligently contributed to your own injuries would reduce the amount of compensation you could receive.
Otherwise, whether you hurt yourself by making a mistake or the injury was unavoidable, you may be entitled to workers’ comp. Even if your initial claim is rejected, you might still have time to appeal successfully.