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posted in Wilka, Welter & Ash LLP Law Blog.
Understanding South Dakota Worker’s Compensation Restrictions
Under South Dakota worker’s compensation rules, employees who are injured on the job must report their injury to their employer within three days of suffering an injury. Under the state’s rules, there is no need to prove fault and employees have no ability to sue an employer for a personal injury. However, there may be other instances where working with a personal injury attorney in Sioux Falls could be helpful such as when an employer does not maintain worker’s compensation insurance or when a claim for an injury or covered illness is denied.
Denied Illness or Injury Claims
There are some specific instances where a worker’s compensation claim may be denied, for example, an employee who is engaged in horseplay or who is intoxicated in the workplace and suffers an injury is not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. However, in some cases, an insurance company may reject the claim outright because they believe the injury did not occur on the job. When a legitimate worker’s compensation claim is denied, a personal injury attorney in Sioux Falls can help employees file an appeal to ensure they get the benefits they are entitled to.
When a Third Party Can Be Held Responsible
There are cases where a workplace injury may be the responsibility of someone other than an employer. Some examples where this may apply include:
- Faulty or defective equipment – When an employee is injured because a tool or other piece of equipment had a manufacturer’s defect the employee may have the right to file a personal injury suit against the manufacturer.
- Automobile accident – If an employee is injured while traveling for work and the other driver is at fault, a personal injury attorney in Sioux Falls could file a claim against that driver even though the worker is eligible for worker’s compensation.
- Other negligence – If a worker is involved in a project that involves other contractors who are not employed by the employer and they cause an accident that results in an injury an employee may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
The worker’s compensation program is designed to provide employees with wages and medical costs any time they suffer an injury on the job. While South Dakota law does not allow an employee to sue their employer for additional monetary damages, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sioux Falls can help employees with worker’s compensation appeals as well as help them determine if they may have a third party claim.