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Can I still report my former employer to OSHA and file a lawsuit for not giving me workers comp 11 months after the incident?

Columbia, SC |

I hurt my back on December 24, 2012 while working a particularly busy day. I told my supervisor and she told me to just keep working. After my shift was done, I was made to stay over and continue working, exasperating my pain. I had to go to the doctor the next day and was told that I strained my back and that it would require 4-6 weeks to heal. After a week I was finally able to talk to the GM and told him what had happened and she told me that my injury was not enough to get workers comp and just to go back to work and get some Aspirin from his office if anything. As time as gone on I'm finding out that not only did my injury warrant workers comp, but they were supposed to make an injury report the day I told them, which I'm pretty sure they didn't. Can I still take action?

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Attorney answers 4


I believe you can report your employer to OSHA at any time. In South Carolina you have 90 days to report a work related injury which you did. In South Carolina you have two (2) years to file a workers' compensation claim. You probably cannot "sue" your employer but you still have time to file a formal claim with the South Carolina Workers Comp Commission. It is important that you contact an attorney right away as you will require specific evidence to win the case. Workers comp is handled on a contingency so it wont cost you a dime- no recovery no fee.

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You should still be able to file a claim based on your factual summary. There are two time requirements for a workers' compensation claim in South Carolina. The first is that you must give notice of your claim to your employer within 90 days. It sounds as if you satisfied this requirement. Second, there is a two-year statute of limitations, which are are well within. You may see the employer try to fight the claim contending that they did not receive proper notice (it wouldn't be the first time employer representatives lied to try to get out of paying a claim) but hopefully they won't stoop to such a level.


Your comments to the Supervisor and GM would likely satisfy the Notice requirement. If they did not document it and don't remember it, that will certainly make things harder. If you file a claim within 2 years of the date of accident, then you will satisfy the Statute of Limitations. You mentioned this involves your former employer. Your reason for leaving the company could be relevant to your ability to recover and the amount recoverable. If continuing to work aggravated your injuries that may be relevant as well. There is alot of information that you should discuss with an attorney in deciding how you should proceed.


Based on the above information, you can clearly file a claim. Given that the date of injury is getting closer to a year old, it won't be too surprising if the employer fights your claim. So contact one of the fine attorneys above, or use the Find a Lawyer link to find a workers' comp attorney in your area.

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