In South Carolina, an employee who suffers an on-the-job injury may file a claim seeking workers’ compensation benefits. The three primary benefits of filing a claim for workers’ compensation are medical treatment of the employee’s injury, financial compensation for any period of time that the employee is held out of work by the treating physician due to the injury, and financial compensation for any permanent disability the employee has sustained following the completion of medical treatment.
Questions often arise relating to the treatment of the injured employee, including who selects and pays for the treating physician, how long must the treatment be provided, and who is entitled to the medical records relating to such treatment.
Who selects and pays for the treating physician?
S.C. Regulation 67-509 provides that the employer’s representative chooses and pays for the authorized health care provider. The injured employee is not allowed to unilaterally select their physician, but rather must submit to the treating physician selected by their employer or its representative.
How long must the treatment be provided?
Pursuant to S.C. Code Section 42-15-60, the employer shall provide medical, surgical, hospital, and other treatment, including medical and surgical supplies as reasonably may be required, to effect a cure or give relief and for an additional time as in the judgment of the commission will tend to lessen the period of disability as evidenced by expert medical evidence stated to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. In total and permanent disability cases the injured employee is entitled to all reasonable and necessary medical care and treatment for life. In permanent partial disability cases the injured employee is entitled to lifetime prosthetic devices for as long as they are necessary.
Who is entitled to medical records relating to the treatment?
Notably, S.C. Code Section 42-15-95 provides that any employee who seeks treatment for any injury, disease, or condition for which compensation is sought under the Workers’ Compensation Act shall be considered to have given his consent for the release of medical records relating to such examination or treatment.
The foregoing is designed for general information only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, and shall not be accepted or relied upon as legal advice. You should immediately consult an attorney for advice for your specific matter. Nothing contained in this website nor the submission of information via this website shall form an attorney-client relationship.