Burden of Proof For South Carolina Workers Compensation Claims

In any workers’ compensation claim, just as in any legal claim for damages, the person seeking compensation must satisfy the burden of proof. In general, the burden of proof is simply the degree to which a party to a legal action must establish their case. In other words, how strongly must a party prove their case in order to win? In a workers’ compensation case, the injured worker must prove that they sustained an injury by accident in the course and scope of their employment. Notice that there is no requirement in workers’ compensation to establish that the employer did anything wrong or acted negligently in causing a worker’s injury. This is a significant difference when compared to many other types of injury claims in South Carolina (such as injuries from motor vehicle collisions) when you must establish that the other party has done something negligent, or careless, in causing your injury. In cases where the employer and insurance company “accept” the claim (in other words, when they accept responsibility for the injury), the injured worker does not need to prove anything else in order to begin receiving appropriate benefits under the law. When cases are accepted at the outset, things often run more smoothly. However, when the employer and insurance company “deny” the claim (in other words, when they do NOT accept responsibility for the injury), the injured worker has the burden of proving that their injury qualifies for benefits under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. When cases are denied from the beginning, it can often mean injured workers are in for a long, difficult fight. In...
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