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Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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In South Dakota, employers who elect to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees are responsible for paying for this insurance. When an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job, due to working conditions, or in any way related to their employment, this insurance then pays benefits to the eligible employee. If you are a covered employee, you are not responsible for paying into workers’ compensation insurance or paying for benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Options for South Dakota Employers

When it comes to selecting a workers’ compensation option, employers in South Dakota have several options. They may choose a policy offered by any of the market’s private insurance companies. These companies typically offer free quotes for employers so that they may compare different policies.

Employers also have the option of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance from a state-run insurance pool, known as the “South Dakota assigned risk market.” Managed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), this pool is typically a last resort for employers whose “high-risk” status prohibits them from obtaining traditional workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance company.

Additionally, qualifying employers may choose to self-insure. If an employer opts to self-insure, they are responsible for paying for any workers’ compensation claims filed by employees. Employers can only choose this option if they complete an application with the state’s Department of Labor and Regulation and have the application approved.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in South Dakota?

Because the state does not require any employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance, workers are only eligible for benefits if their employers have opted to purchase this type of insurance coverage. South Dakota employees do not have an automatic or implied right to workers’ compensation, regardless of their employment status or other factors.

If your employer does have workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to file a claim for benefits if you are injured on the job in a workplace accident or if you suffer injuries related to your work activities/employment. You are also eligible to seek benefits if you are a covered employee who falls ill or is diagnosed with a medical condition related to your work, such as asbestos exposure, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.

Depending on your employer’s insurance policy, you may be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are found to have acted outside of the company’s rules and policies or if you negligently or intentionally inflicted injury upon yourself.

How to Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are a covered employee, you can seek workers’ compensation benefits immediately after a work-related injury or illness. In fact, the state only allows you to file a claim for up to one year after the date of injury or the date on which the injury/illness was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered. If you fail to meet this statute of limitations, your case will almost certainly be dismissed.

If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you should notify your employer right away. You should also file a First Report of Injury (Form 101) as soon as possible. In most cases, your employer will provide you with this form. Complete it and return it so that your employer can fill out the employer section of the form before filing it via the First Report of Injury Management System online.

If you encounter any issues with your claim, including coverage disputes from your employer, reach out to an attorney at Whiting Hagg Hagg Dorsey & Hagg. Our Rapid City workers’ compensation lawyers can immediately begin protecting your rights and putting together a case aimed at securing the maximum benefits you are entitled to receive.

What to Do If You Are Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation

If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, or if you are otherwise not entitled to workers’ compensation, you may be able to sue your employer after a work-related accident, injury, or illness. Your right to file a lawsuit will depend on numerous factors, including whether your employer or another party was negligent.

We strongly recommend that you contact an experienced third-party work injury lawyer, like those at Whiting Hagg Hagg Dorsey & Hagg. South Dakota’s work injury laws are complex, and you will want to have a knowledgeable legal team by your side. Our firm is prepared to develop a personalized legal strategy on your behalf and fight for maximum compensation for your losses, including your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

To learn more, contact us today and request a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.