Investigation & Witnesses
Employers and their insurance representatives have the right to investigate claims, but they also have an obligation to be reasonable and do it as quickly as possible.
Investigations might focus on one or more of a number of issues. Insurance coverage investigations may concern whether or not the Employer and Employee were even subject to the SC Workers’ Compensation Act at the time of the worker’s injury.
There might be a question of whether or not the employer was required by law to carry Workers’ Compensation coverage or, if the injured worker was an “employee” as defined by the Workers’ Compensation law.
The insurance company might question whether or not the Employer’s insurance coverage was in force at the time of the injury.
Workers’ Compensation claim investigations may also challenge the relationship between the Claimant’s work or work activities and the injuries he or she is claiming.
The employer, insurance company or their attorneys may question the circumstances of the accident or injurious event, doubting that there is a causal relationship between event and injuries. A carrier may claim that the employee was on a “personal errand” during the injury.
This or any number of other defenses can lead to a denial of the claim.
It is important to have an experienced South Carolina Workers’ Compensation lawyer involved early in the claim in order to recognize any potential problems and work to build the supporting foundation for the presentation of the claim. We do this on every claim.
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Other concerns in Workers’ Compensation investigations might involve the Claimant’s prior medical or claims history and the extent of his disclosure of requested information on his job application.
Per the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law, insurance carriers are required to conduct a beneficiary investigation in all claims involving fatalities to determine whom the proper beneficiaries will be.
Witnesses and Their Role:
Witnesses in Workers’ Compensation cases may be called by either side to assist in proving their version of the incident. Witnesses’ recorded or written statements, affidavits or depositions might be used as evidence in a Workers’ Compensation case.
Often the witnesses are subpoenaed to appear and testify in person at a Workers’ Compensation Hearing. There is no doubt that the employer has an initial advantage if the witnesses still work for the employer and the injured employee does not. This is a very important area where having an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can help immediately.
This is why you need to hire an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney to handle your claim. We can contact witnesses, issuing subpoenas if necessary, to obtain valuable testimony under oath – that can’t be influenced by the employer. Please feel free to e-mail us at Peterdavidbrown.com or call us at (843)971.0099. You can click here to reach us now and set up a no-cost conference to evaluate your claim.