Workers compensation could play a vital part in your ability to recover after a work accident, but you may struggle to get your benefits. If you’ve been denied or you’re not sure how to get started, a Charleston workers compensation lawyer can help.
When you head to work, you’re not usually expecting to suffer a serious injury or illness. Unfortunately, it happens to plenty of workers across South Carolina every day, and now, you’re one of them. You’ll need rest and funds for your recovery, and you’ll need them as quickly as possible.
Your workers compensation benefits should cover you, right? Unfortunately, you might be unsure of whether you have workers compensation to fall back on, or you might have already been denied. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of your claim.
When you’re struggling to get coverage for your work accident, reach out to a Charleston workers comp lawyer. At HawkLaw, PA, we understand that you’re already suffering and you’re concerned about your ability to stay financially afloat. We know how difficult that can be, and we’ll fight hard to make sure you get the full value of the workers comp benefits you’re owed.
Common Reasons to File a Workers Comp Claim
If you’ve suffered a work accident, you might not be sure whether it’s worth filing a Charleston workers comp claim. You feel mostly fine at the moment, so you don’t believe your accident was serious enough for workers compensation. Unfortunately, even accidents that sound minor can affect your ability to work.
Many common accidents can turn serious quickly. For example, a slip-and-fall might not seem serious at first, but a fall could cause head trauma, leaving you with a serious concussion that won’t show up until later. Seeing a doctor now can also help prevent later accusations that your injury didn’t happen at work.
If you’ve been injured in almost any kind of on-the-job accident, you should be eligible for workers compensation benefits:
Once you’ve determined that you’re going to need medical care or be unable to work for a time because of your injuries or illness, you’ll need to determine whether you’re eligible for workers comp. While most of South Carolina’s working population is eligible, you might not be certain that you’re included in that group.
Unfortunately, some people aren’t covered by South Carolina’s workers compensation laws. If you find that you may not be covered, speak to your Charleston work comp attorney about your options. Certain employee groups might be eligible for alternative types of compensation. For example, a federal employee might receive compensation through the government—not through South Carolina’s work comp program.
So, before you decide that you don’t have access to workers comp benefits, contact your employer and workers comp lawyer in Charleston and review the list below. The following workers may need to seek alternatives to workers compensation if they’re injured on the job:
Casual or temporary employees
Filing Your Workers Comp Claim in Charleston
Once you’ve ensured that you’re eligible for workers compensation, you’ll need to act quickly to report your injury and file your claim. South Carolina employees will have ninety days to report their injuries to their employees. If they don’t act in time, they could lose their chance to receive benefits.
When you report the injury, report as many important details as possible. They’ll need to know what happened, when and where your injury happened, and who witnessed the incident. Once your employers have the information they need to file your claim, they’ll take your claim to the work comp insurer.
The insurer will examine your claim, assess the severity of your injury, and send you their decision. If you receive an approval, you should receive your workers comp benefits soon after.
Reasons for a Workman’s Comp Denial
Sadly, not every workers comp claim gets approved. You might be facing a denial letter. It can feel like the end of your chance to recover, and many people might assume it is. Fortunately, you do still have a chance to fight back.
First, you and your work comp lawyer in Charleston will need to discuss the reason for your denial, which should be listed in your denial letter. The reason for your workman’s comp denial will be what your appeal will need to focus on. In some cases, it might be as simple as a need for more proof that you were injured.
By examining your denial reason with your lawyer, you can anticipate the points your employer and insurer will make in any dispute down the road. You’ll be able to address the supposed issues with your claim and fight for the benefits you know you deserve.
Not sure what to expect? The following are some examples of denial reasons you might encounter:
Not enough evidence of the injury
Not enough evidence that the accident happened at work
A missed deadline
The Appeals Process
Once you’ve determined why you were denied, you and your lawyer can appeal the decision. If there’s a dispute or your employer simply never filed your claim, you’ll first have your appeal heard by South Carolina workers comp officials.
If you’re still unable to get the benefits you need, you can appeal this decision, too. When this happens, you may meet with your employer and a neutral party to attempt to settle the dispute.
During this entire process, your lawyer will argue for your case. If you have any evidence to dispute your insurance company’s reasons for denial, you or your Charleston work comp lawyer will present that evidence to show that you should receive compensation for your workplace injuries.
South Carolina Workers Comp Benefits
One of the most important benefits you’ll receive will likely be your medical coverage. South Carolina workers comp pays the full amount for your medical expenses from the injury. These costs could be overwhelming in serious accidents.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re getting the disability and lost wage benefits appropriate for your situation. For example, you might be able to return to work but not to your former position. While you’re taking “light duty,” you should receive partial disability benefits. These should cover two-thirds of the difference between your new and original wages.
Dealing with a work accident isn’t easy. You’ve suffered painful injuries, and now you’ll need to seek compensation from your employer and their insurance company. Worse, you might have already been denied the benefits you need to recover. You and your family will need those benefits when you’re unable to work.
Unfortunately, the appeals process can be overwhelming when you’re already dealing with an injury. The good news is an attorney from HawkLaw, PA can help. Starting with a free consultation, our attorneys will review your case or your denial letter, and we’ll fight to get the full work comp benefits you deserve.
If you’re struggling with your claim, contact a Charleston workers comp lawyer for help. We’ll help you fight back when the insurer won’t pay you the compensation you’re due. To reach us and get your claim started, call 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or complete the online contact form below.
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