Jul, 2016

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posted in Wilka, Welter & Ash LLP Law Blog.

What Happens if I Get Injured on the Job?

Know Your Options If You’ve Been Injured on the Job in South Dakota

Being seriously injured while at your job can be devastating. You’re likely dealing with the pain and suffering associated with your injury, and you may be worried about finances too. Thankfully, there are options for employees in South Dakota who’ve been hurt while working. State workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect you.

South Dakota Law and Injured Workers

In South Dakota, workers’ compensation law governs compensation for employees after they’ve been injured on the job. Almost all employees are covered by this law, although there are some exception for independent contractors, farm and agricultural laborers, and domestic laborers. These laws are designed to protect both employees who are injured on the job or who develop an illness that is caused by the type of work they perform.

While you can receive benefits for most injuries or illnesses caused by your job, there are some situations when your workers’ compensation claim may be denied. You may be denied compensation if

  • your injury was the result of willful misconduct on your part,
  • you were intoxicated or using illegal drugs at the time of the accident,
  • you failed to use safety equipment that your employer provided or
  • you lied about your injury when applying for benefits.

How to Claim the Benefits You Are Owed

If you are hurt while working or have an illness that’s related to your job, it’s essential that you communicate with doctors and your employer right away. If you’re injured on the job, let your supervisor know immediately. It’s a good idea to put everything you remember about the incident down in writing so that you can refer to it in the future. It’s also essential that you seek medical care as soon as possible. If you wait for too long after an injury to go to a doctor, your employer or its insurance company may be able to argue that your injury wasn’t serious or didn’t happen on the job.

Once you’ve reported an injury to your supervisor, your company or its insurance agent has seven days to make a report to the South Dakota Division of Labor and Management. The employer or insurance company is responsible for ensuring that all associated medical bills are paid and may be liable to compensate you as well. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may receive

  • temporary partial disability,
  • permanent partial disability,
  • permanent total disability or
  • job retraining.

Spouses, children, parents and grandparents of individuals who are killed while on the job may also receive compensation following the loss of their loved one.

Most employers play fair when it comes to on-the-job injuries, but there are times when employees have to work with private attorneys to get benefits. Do you need help getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve? Contact Wilka & Welter today. Our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys will hear your story and explain your options.