When an employee is injured on the job, their employer's workers' compensation plan typically covers the costs associated. Unfortunately, many employee's worry about filing a claim because they like working with their employer or fear some sort of retaliation.
In South Dakota, you are required to report an injury within three business days. That's not a lot of time as compared to other states. Iowa, for example, allows 90 days for a worker to submit a claim. If you do not make your claim within three days, you risk having your claim denied and may lose out on benefits.
Exceptions: Who is not covered?
Depending on the employment classification, a worker may be exempt from the standard employer-provided workers' compensation benefits. Those not covered are as follows:
- Domestic servants, unless they work for their employer more than 20 hours per week.
- Farm or agricultural laborers.
- Those who are independent contractors or don't otherwise work in the usual course of trade or business of the employer. However, independent contractors and owner-operators of trucks have other options.
- Some elected officials.
- Workfare participants.
Types of benefits
The workers' compensation system is set up to pay all medical bills related to the injury. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, the employee may receive other benefits such as temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability and, if a fatality occurred, death benefits. Additionally, an employee may receive rehabilitation or retraining assistance if they are unable to return to their usual course of duties.
However, if you sustained an injury while intoxicated, under the influence of illegal drugs, failed to use a safety device the employer supplied or it was due to willful misconduct, your claim may be denied.
What should I do if I'm injured?
Even if you enjoy working for your employer and don't want to file a claim or fear retaliation, it's very important that you report your injury right away and seek medical attention. After, you should speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss details and learn more about benefits you may be entitled to and what to expect as your claim progresses.