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Title 42 - Workers' Compensation
NOTICE OF ACCIDENT; FILING OF CLAIMS; MEDICAL ATTENTION AND EXAMINATION
SECTION 42-15-10. State law under which claim is authorized to be filed.
Any employee covered by the provisions of this Title is authorized to file his claim under the laws of the state where he is hired, the state where he is injured, or the state where his employment is located. If an employee shall receive compensation or damages under the laws of any other state, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to permit a total compensation for the same injury greater than that provided in this Title.
SECTION 42-15-20. Notice of accident shall be given employer.
Every injured employee or his representative shall immediately on the occurrence of an accident, or as soon thereafter as practicable, give or cause to be given to the employer a notice of the accident and the employee shall not be entitled to physician's fees nor to any compensation which may have accrued under the terms of this Title prior to the giving of such notice, unless it can be shown that the employer, his agent or representative, had knowledge of the accident or that the party required to give such notice had been prevented from doing so by reason of physical or mental incapacity or the fraud or deceit of some third person. No compensation shall be payable unless such notice is given within ninety days after the occurrence of the accident or death, unless reasonable excuse is made to the satisfaction of the Commission for not giving such notice and the Commission is satisfied that the employer has not been prejudiced thereby.
SECTION 42-15-40. Time for filing claim; filing by registered mail.
The right to compensation under this title is barred unless a claim is filed with the commission within two years after an accident, or if death resulted from accident, within two years of the date of death. However, for occupational disease claims the two-year period does not begin to run until the employee concerned has been diagnosed definitively as having an occupational disease and has been notified of the diagnosis. For the death or injury of a member of the South Carolina National Guard, as provided for in Section 42-7-67, the time for filing a claim is two years after the accident or one year after the federal claim is finalized, whichever is later. The filing required by this section may be made by registered mail, and the registry within the time periods set forth in this section constitutes timely filing.
SECTION 42-15-50. Limitation of time on notice or claim of mentally incompetent person or minor.
No limitation of time provided in this Title for the giving of notice or making claim under this Title shall run against any person who is mentally incompetent or a minor dependent as long as he has no guardian, trustee or committee.
SECTION 42-15-55. Appointment of guardian ad litem for minors or mentally incompetent persons.
When a minor or mentally incompetent person is a party in a proceeding before the Workers' Compensation Commission of this State a guardian ad litem for the minor or mentally incompetent person may be appointed by a judge of probate, clerk of court, or master, if there is a master, of the county where the minor or mentally incompetent person resides or by any circuit judge or a member of the Workers' Compensation Commission.
SECTION 42-15-60. Periods within which medical treatment and supplies shall be furnished; refusal by employee to accept treatment.
Medical, surgical, hospital and other treatment, including medical and surgical supplies as may reasonably be required, for a period not exceeding ten weeks from the date of an injury to effect a cure or give relief and for such additional time as in the judgment of the Commission will tend to lessen the period of disability and, in addition thereto, such original artificial members as may be reasonably necessary at the end of the healing period shall be provided by the employer. In case of a controversy arising between employer and employee, the Commission may order such further medical, surgical, hospital or other treatment as may in the discretion of the Commission be necessary. During the whole or any part of the remainder of disability resulting from the injury the employer may, at his own option, continue to furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the employee, and the employee shall accept an attending physician, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission and, in addition, such surgical and hospital service and supplies as may be deemed necessary by such attending physician or the Commission. The refusal of an employee to accept any medical, hospital, surgical or other treatment when provided by the employer or ordered by the Commission shall bar such employee from further compensation until such refusal ceases and no compensation shall at any time be paid for the period of suspension unless in the opinion of the Commission the circumstances justified the refusal, in which case the Commission may order a change in the medical or hospital service. If in an emergency on account of the employer's failure to provide the medical care as specified in this section a physician other than provided by the employer is called to treat the injured employee the reasonable cost of such service shall be paid by the employer if so ordered by the Commission.
In cases in which total and permanent disability results, reasonable and necessary nursing services, medicines, prosthetic devices, sick travel, medical, hospital and other treatment or care shall be paid during the life of the injured employee, without regard to any limitation in this title including the maximum compensation limit. In cases of partial permanent disability prosthetic devices shall be also furnished during the life of the injured employee or so long as they are necessary.
SECTION 42-15-65. Compensation for damage to prosthetic device, eyeglasses, or hearing aid.
Damage to a prosthetic device of an injured employee as the result of an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment entitles the employee to compensation ensuring that the prosthetic device is repaired or replaced.
Damage to eye glasses or a hearing aid used by an injured employee as the result of an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment entitles the employee to compensation ensuring that the eye glasses or the hearing aid is repaired or replaced.
SECTION 42-15-70. Liability of employer for medical treatment; effect of malpractice.
The pecuniary liability of the employer for medical, surgical and hospital service or other treatment required, when ordered by the Commission, shall be limited to such charges as prevail in the community for similar treatment of injured persons of a like standard of living when such treatment is paid for by the injured person and the employer shall not be liable in damages for malpractice by a physician or surgeon furnished by him pursuant to the provisions of this section, but the consequences of any such malpractice shall be deemed part of the injury resulting from the accident and shall be compensated for as such.
SECTION 42-15-80. Physical examinations; facts learned by doctors are not privileged; refusal to submit to examination; autopsy.
After an injury and so long as he claims compensation, the employee, if so requested by his employer or ordered by the Commission, shall submit himself to examination, at reasonable times and places, by a duly qualified physician or surgeon designated and paid by the employer or the Commission. The employee shall have the right to have present at such examination any duly qualified physician or surgeon provided and paid by him. No fact communicated to or otherwise learned by any physician or surgeon who may have attended or examined the employee, or who may have been present at any examination, shall be privileged, either in hearings provided for by this Title or any action at law brought to recover damages against any employer who may have accepted the compensation provisions of this Title. If the employee refuses to submit himself to or in any way obstructs such examination requested by and provided for by the employer, his right to compensation and his right to take or prosecute any proceedings under this Title shall be suspended until such refusal or objection ceases and no compensation shall at any time be payable for the period of suspension unless in the opinion of the Commission the circumstances justify the refusal or obstruction. The employer or the Commission may in any case of death require an autopsy at the expense of the person requesting it.
SECTION 42-15-90. Fees of attorneys and physicians and hospital charges shall be approved by Commission.
Fees for attorneys and physicians and charges of hospitals for services under this title shall be subject to the approval of the Commission; but no physician or hospital shall be entitled to collect fees from an employer or insurance carrier until he has made the reports required by the Commission in connection with the case.
Any person who receives any fee or other consideration or any gratuity on account of services so rendered, unless such consideration or gratuity is approved by the Commission or such court or who makes it a business to solicit employment for a lawyer or for himself in respect of any claim or award for compensation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall, for each offense, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 42-15-95. Disclosure of existing information.
All existing information compiled by a health care facility, as defined in Section 44-7-130, or a health care provider licensed pursuant to Title 40 pertaining directly to a workers' compensation claim must be provided to the insurance carrier, the employer, the employee, their attorneys, or the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, within fourteen days after receipt of written request. A health care facility and a health care provider may charge a fee for the search and duplication of a medical record, but the fee may not exceed sixty-five cents per page for the first thirty pages and fifty cents per page for all other pages, and a clerical fee for searching and handling not to exceed fifteen dollars per request plus actual postage and applicable sales tax. The facility or provider may charge a patient or the patient's representative no more than the actual cost of reproduction of an X-ray. Actual cost means the cost of materials and supplies used to duplicate the X-ray and the labor and overhead costs associated with the duplication. If a treatment facility or physician fails to send the requested information within forty-five days after receipt of the request, the person or entity making the request may apply to the commission for an appropriate penalty payable to the commission, not to exceed two hundred dollars.