When you’re already suffering a workplace injury, the last thing you want to do is mess with the paperwork necessary to file a workman’s comp claim. Yet, in South Carolina, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim to get compensation, and the amount of compensation will depend on how well you file the claim. Workers’ compensation is a complex process, but it is your right to obtain financial support if you’ve been hurt on the job. Let HawkLaw walk you through the process. Call 888.HAWK.LAW or use our contact page for help with your South Carolina Workman’s Comp claim.
What Is a Workers’ Comp Claim?
The Workers’ Compensation Act in South Carolina states that an employee who suffers an injury by accident that happens out of and in the course of employment has the right to compensation for the losses they suffered due to that incident. It is a claim for a work-related injury or occupational disease.
This law makes it possible for you to get help to recover medical expenses, compensate for lost time, and provide financial support if you are permanently disabled as a result of that injury or work-caused illness. You have the right to get help paying for your medical treatment as well as financial compensation for any lost wages you’ve had.
When Do I Need To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission governs the regulations over the state’s workers’ compensation benefits. Keep in mind that if you suffer an injury on the job, it is up to you to report what has occurred right away and take action to get the medical care you need. Make sure to tell your supervisor and do not hide any details of what has occurred.
Rather, report your injury to the employer as soon as possible or at least within 90 days of the accident that caused it. The workplace accident may be anything that causes medical complications. Do not overlook small problems that worsen over time.
It is important to file your workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date of the accident or injury. This is the state’s Statute of Limitations for claims. If you are unsure if your injury occurred beyond that timeframe, reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about your options. Do not put off speaking to a law firm about your case.
It is often best to provide notice of what has occurred to your employer immediately when the accident occurs. The only exception is if you are physically or mentally unable to report your injuries. For example, if you are in an accident in a work vehicle on a job site, seek medical care immediately and focus on your emergency medical needs. It may take you some time, especially if you are unable to communicate, to report these injuries to your employer, and that is okay. Simply do so as soon as possible. The sooner you communicate this information, the faster you can get compensation from the associated insurance carrier.
There are benefits to reporting your injury right away. The details of what’s occurred are fresh in your mind. There may be witnesses available to verify what happened to you and why. Formal documentation like this may also help you prove what occurred and speed up the claims process.
Do you have a repetitive trauma or injury? A repetitive injury occurs due to the work done, but it happens over time instead of in a single occurrence. In this type of injury, such as the development of back problems or wrist pain, the two-year window is a bit different. It starts from the date you discover your disease or injury developing or the date of diagnosis.
A person who develops a medical condition due to exposure to chemicals may not know what’s happening for months or years until they have symptoms severe enough to report to their doctor. In that situation, the two-year period for reporting the injury begins at diagnosis of the condition.
In all situations, work with a comp lawyer who can offer guidance and support to you. Even if you think this timeframe may have lapsed, do not make the mistake of not taking action. During a free consultation* we can answer any questions about your claim and determine if you have the legal right to move forward with it.
Who Files the Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When a workplace accident occurs, it is your responsibility to report the injury to your employer. It is then the employer’s responsibility to begin the claims process. They must file with the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission to do so.
Many employers in the state must maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover these types of risks. Once the employer files the claim, the employer’s insurance company will contact you for more information and to complete the process. The insurance company is not there to represent you or help you get fair compensation. Rather, their job is to process the claim for the lowest amount possible. However, workers’ compensation laws make it clear that employers are responsible for injuries caused by workplace accidents.
You have the right to have a comp attorney by your side through this process. Your attorney works to represent you and protects your rights.
South Carolina workers’ compensation claims are possible if employers don’t file
If you are an injured worker and your employer does not file your workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to take action yourself. You can report your job injuries to the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission using Form 50. Again, it is often best to do this with the help of a personal injury lawyer who can help you to properly communicate the losses you have for your work injury.
If you have a family member that has died because of a work-sustained accident or illness, you also have the right to pursue financial support. If you do not get help from the employer and comp insurance company, file Form 52 with the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission directly. Do so with the support of an attorney. Typically, dependents may seek death benefits after the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident.
What Is a Workers’ Compensation Hearing?
In the ideal situation, the employer reports your work injury to the insurance company. The company agrees with the losses you have sustained and that it was a workplace accident. They then pay your lost wages, medical expenses, permanent disability, or other losses.
That is not always what occurs. The workers’ comp insurance provider will contest your compensation in some situations. They may not believe the claims or may not have all information necessary. They may outright deny claims and disability benefits. It is the insurance company’s job to reduce their liability in any way they can. That means you will need to prove that you are owed these funds.
A hearing allows you to present the facts of your case to the Workers’ Compensation Commission commissioner. The disability comp insurance company may be present as well to speak about why they are denying or reducing your claim.
Having the legal advice of a workers’ compensation attorney may be critical in this situation. Speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer before this hearing. In doing so, you and the attorney will create a plan for moving the case forward, providing you with guidance on your options. Additionally, your attorney can handle all communication for you during this hearing, helping to ensure your case is fully understood.
During the hearing, the commissioner will make a decision on behalf of the State of South Carolina about your case or may delay making a decision until more information is obtained.
If you have been denied compensation from the insurance company, do not give up until the hearing clarifies your rights. You may also bring your claim to the commissioner if you do not believe the amount of compensation received is accurate, such as your average weekly wage being too low or an unfair compensation rate. You do not have to settle if you do not feel your offer is accurate and fair.
Why Choose HawkLaw for Work Comp Cases in South Carolina?
Our team is here to represent you no matter what you’re facing. Our knowledgeable and compassionate law firm has provided support for years for people battling workers’ compensation claims. We can help you, too. We can start initiating cases 24/7, providing you with fast information and the right to pursue them even if it seems like the last minute.
We are a results-focused firm. Our aggressive representation aims to get you a fair compensation rate for your losses. We are happy to speak to you about your case today, even if you’re unsure if you have one. Let us offer guidance and support to you. The sooner you act, the better your potential outcome in your case.
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Think You Have a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Claim? Take Action Now
If you need help with your workman’s comp case, get accurate legal advice from HawkLaw. Call 888.HAWK.LAW or contact us online to learn more about how you can get fair compensation from your workman’s comp case. Our team is ready to fight for you.