Suffering an injury on the job can be a challenging and isolating experience. What’s more, applying for the South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits you need during your recovery is tricky to navigate alone.
If you’re hurt and struggling to receive workers’ comp benefits, please know that it’s not the end of the road. You have rights, and workers’ compensation lawyers at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys are here to protect you. Don’t wait to call us for help.
Is it Worth Getting a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
The insurance company responsible for your workers’ comp benefits is a business. That’s why their initial settlement offer is typically low. Hiring a legal representative will ensure you’re being treated fairly.
After a workplace accident, you deserve to have someone in your corner who has your best interests at heart. You can trust your lawyer to walk you through every step of the legal process. Your attorney can even negotiate with insurance and help you appeal if your claim is denied.
If you’re worried about the expense, rest assured. Like many law firms, we work on a contingency-fee basis, so we don’t charge you anything upfront. If we can’t win a settlement for you, we won’t charge you a legal fee.
Do I Need a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Attorney?
While workers’ compensation is intended to protect injured South Carolina workers, you might be surprised at the number of valid claims that are denied each year. Many workers in this situation aren’t sure how to proceed and don’t know whether they should contact a lawyer or not.
Having an experienced Charleston, SC, workers’ comp lawyer who knows the system will always be worth it. An attorney will give you a better chance of receiving the maximum amount you deserve and take the stress of the legal process off your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery.
What Does a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Do?
A workers’ comp lawyer can help you through every stage of the workers’ compensation system, whether you’re just now filing your claim or have been denied and need to appeal. Your attorney can help you gather medical evidence to support your case. They can also talk to your doctor, medical experts, and any other parties concerning your claim.
If your claim is denied, an attorney will be incredibly beneficial. We can ensure you have everything prepared and speak on your behalf during your hearing. Most importantly, a workers’ comp attorney knows how to navigate the complex laws surrounding these claims.
How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Cost?
The good news is that it costs nothing to put the Thumbs Up Guys on your side! Our office works on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe our lawyers anything unless we win money for your claim.
Workers’ Comp Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions
We know that a workplace injury can leave you with many questions. Here are some of the most commonly sought-after answers. Reach out to our legal team directly if you have more concerns.
Do I Have to Prove Fault To Get Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that it doesn’t matter who caused your accident, and you do not need to prove fault to receive benefits. If you were hurt at work, you’re generally entitled to workers’ comp coverage.
Does My Accident Have to Happen at Work To Get Benefits?
No. As long as you’re performing work-related duties, you are covered. For example, if part of your job requires you to travel to a client’s home or office and you get hurt, workers’ comp should apply. Even if you’re running an errand for your boss, workers’ compensation may cover your injury.
Do All Employers Offer Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Employers in South Carolina with four or more employees are required by law to have workers’ comp coverage if an employee is hurt. There very few exceptions, such as companies that made less than $3,000 in annual payroll the prior year.
Are All Employees Eligible for Benefits?
Most South Carolina employees are covered by workers’ compensation, except independent contractors and those whose employer payroll is below four employees. If you do not fall under these exceptions, workers’ compensation should cover your work-related injury or illness.
How Do I Start My Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you’re hurt on the job, the first thing you need to do is inform your boss, preferably in writing, of the accident. Note the exact time and circumstances of the accident, including the pain you feel, what happened, and when.
Your supervisor should then forward the information to the insurance carrier, who should file a First Report of Injury (FROI), which will begin your workers’ compensation claim. Then, make sure you seek medical attention and call a Charleston, SC, workers’ comp lawyer to help you navigate the legal system.
What Can Workers’ Compensation Cover?
A state-mandated insurance system, workers’ compensation provides financial coverage for Charleston employees injured while performing activities related to their regular job duties.
If you’ve been hurt on the job, you will likely be entitled to the following types of benefits under workers’ compensation:
- Medical benefits, including doctor’s visits
- Disability benefits may partially cover lost wages
- Death benefits, like funeral costs
Filing for Workers’ Comp in Charleston, South Carolina
If you’ve been hurt on the job, there are several vital steps that must be taken to file for workers’ compensation in Charleston, South Carolina. The first step is to immediately inform your employer of the accident and seek medical treatment for your injuries.
You have a 90-day window to report your accident, or you could lose your right to benefits. After this period, you have up to two years to file a claim for benefits (including death benefits).
If your employer doesn’t report your accident to their workers’ comp insurance carrier or your claim is denied, it’s in your best interest to seek help from a legal professional. Our Charleston, SC, workers’ comp lawyers know the critical deadlines that can affect your claim and are ready to help you navigate these complex legal processes.
However, you can always make sure your treatment results are shared with your own doctor to keep your medical records up to date and get a second opinion.
Can I Sue My Employer for My Work-Related Injury?
There are very few circumstances where you may file a lawsuit against your employer, such as:
- If your employer intentionally hurt you
- If they don’t carry workers’ comp insurance
- If you can prove gross negligence
Your attorney can handle communications with your employer and insurance. A Charleston, SC, workers’ comp lawyer can advise you on whether or not you should file a lawsuit against your employer.
Can I Collect Benefits for Pain and Suffering?
Workers’ compensation differs from personal injury cases and, typically, does not provide coverage for non-economic losses, like pain and suffering and mental anguish. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance designed to help pay your medical bills and recover a portion of your lost wages while you recover after a work-related injury or illness.
You are typically entitled to a settlement once you have reached “maximum medical improvement,” considering the severity of the injury and how it has impacted your ability to earn wages.
There are several different recovery methods, and picking the wrong one could cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
What Kind of Workers’ Comp Benefits Can I Receive?
Workers’ compensation is intended to provide financial support to workers in the event of a workplace accident. Suppose you’ve been hurt on the job.
In that case, workers’ compensation benefits can cover any reasonable and necessary medical costs required for the treatment of your injuries, including:
- Doctor’s office visits
- Medical procedures
- Ongoing physical therapy
Your benefits may also cover a portion of your lost wages, based on the severity of your injury or condition.
What Are Survivor’s Benefits?
While workers’ compensation protects injured workers, it can also benefit those who have lost a loved one to a fatal workplace accident. Survivor’s benefits can compensate eligible dependents who relied on the deceased for care, including spouses and children.
The amount of coverage you’re entitled to depends on a variety of factors. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you and your family determine what you may be owed in this situation.
What Happens if Your Claim Is Denied?
If your claim is denied at both hearings, the next step is to file a lawsuit with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. If you lose your appeal, you have the right to appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Keep in mind this court does not hear all appeals filed at this level. No matter what stage of the appeals process you’re in, you will have the best chance of successfully appealing your claim if you work with a qualified Charleston, SC, workers’ comp lawyer.
What if My Employer Disagrees With My Injury?
In some cases, an employer may say your injury was not work-related or that your current health condition was not a result of the workplace environment. If you encounter a dispute, evidence will be vital to support your claim. This can include photos of the scene of the accident and your injuries, medical bills, witness statements, and proof of lost wages.
What Happens if My Claim Is Denied?
If you filed for workers’ compensation and your claim was denied, or you’re struggling to receive benefits, don’t lose hope! After receiving a denial, there are several options to proceed, depending on your unique circumstances. If you reach this point, it’s in your best interest to seek help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
What Is the Process to Appeal a Denied Workers’ Comp Claim?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. There are several levels of the appeals process.
The first requires you to submit a hearing request to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, where a single commissioner will hear your case and review the evidence. If your claim is denied at this level, you may appeal further by requesting a Commission Review, and a panel of three commissioners will review your case.
Get a Free Consultation With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You have nothing to lose by letting our team review your case. The experienced workers’ comp lawyers at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, fight for the rights of the injured. We can work on your case while you recover. Contact our team today to start your claim.