Do I have a case for workers compensation even if I went to the doctor on my own?

I had been hurting on and off for about a year with my neck and arm. So in July, my family doctor sent me to a orthopedic specialist. I got an MRI and it showed I have a herniated disc in my neck at C5-C6. I went to work and told my supervisor because I have not been in any accidents or I have not injured myself in any way, which I told my doctor and he agreed with me that it was more than likely work related. My supervisor told the man up front that is over that stuff and he said because I went to the doctor on my own that I wasn’t eligible for workers compensation. I have been doing the same job for 19 1/2 years. They have never tried to improve the way we work only until recently when several others have complained. I’ve been out of work since October 19,2017 because I am having a lot of weakness in my right arm and that is what I do all day is pull down on a screwdriver. And now disability is trying to give me the runaround. I just really need some advice. Thank you, Tracy

Asked on November 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You only have the right to worker's compensation if you can show (i.e. have evidence) that the damge was caused by work. Even if the doctor thinks it may be work related, there must be some specific event or injury which caused this, and which you had reported to your employer: worker's compensation does not apply if you believe it may be work related but cannot trace it back to a specific act or injury.

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