Workers who sustain an injury while on the job are typically covered by both state and federal workers’ compensation programs. Under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation program, injured workers are entitled to repayment of any medical bills related to their injuries as well as disability benefits if needed. Workers who are unable to return to the job immediately after an accident are also entitled to a percentage of their regular wages while they recover.
SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR WORKERS COMPENSATION?
While the workers’ compensation program may seem good for injured workers, the task of recovering benefits can be difficult, especially when you are trying to recover from your injuries at the same time. There are several reasons you should hire an attorney when filing a workers’ compensation claim especially if you face any of the below scenarios:
- Your claim has been denied
- Your permanent disability rating is in question
- You have a preexisting condition
- You are unable to get the treatment you need
- You’re already receiving other government benefits
- You have a workers’ comp hearing
Our Charleston workers’ compensation lawyers at Bostic Law Group, P.A. know how important workers’ compensation benefits are to you, your family, and your financial situation, so we take great care to offer the detailed advice and help you need to file an effective claim or appeal a denied claim.
With over 25 years of experience handling worker’s compensation cases, our Charleston attorneys can answer any question you may have and help you receive the benefits you deserve. Call us today at (843) 350-9646 for assistance.
WHAT DOES WORKER’S COMPENSATION COVER?
Certain jobs, such as construction worker, inherently involve dangerous conditions and are more likely to lead to a workplace accident. However, injuries can happen unexpectedly at any job. Luckily, no matter what your career, workers’ compensation is likely available to you.
Generally, any employee who develops a work-related illness or injury is eligible to receive workers’ compensation regardless of who was at fault—the employee themselves, their employer, a coworker, a customer, machinery, or a third party.
You are eligible to receive compensation even in any of the following situations, as long as you were not intoxicated or on illegal drugs at the time:
- You caused self-inflicted injuries
- You suffered an injury while another worker was committing a serious crime
- You were injured while another employee was not on the job
- You suffered an injury when another employee’s conduct violated company policy
However, there are limits. Generally, different rules apply to seasonal and temporary workers, agricultural and farm workers, and domestic workers. Also, your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance in place for you to receive compensation. Most employers do even if it is not a requirement, but in rare cases this could cause an issue. You don’t have to be at work to receive workers’ compensation. As long as your injury is work-related, it can qualify, which means that if you are injured on a business trip, a commute, or even on your break you should still receive assistance.
Finally, employees may also be eligible for compensation in the event a long-term illness or problem arises from a work-related issue, such as developing back problems or stress-related medical conditions caused by your job duties. Workers’ compensation can involve many stipulations and caveats, so if you have questions or concerns about your specific case, we are happy to help. We offer legal consultations, so feel free to reach out at any time.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT AT WORK
If you have been injured in a workplace accident or have developed a painful medical condition caused by repetitive motion at work, there are several steps you should take to assure a favorable outcome to your claim. This way, you will leave a paper trail that will be easy to track and use as evidence if needed.
Important steps you should take immediately following your injury at work include:
- Report the injury to your supervisor
- Seek medical treatment and evaluation from a single doctor. (Under the law, your employer has the right to select the doctor who will treat you. If you go to your own doctor without receiving your employer’s permission, you may be ineligible for compensation.)
- Always tell your doctor the truth regarding the severity and extent of your injury. Insurance carriers and state workers’ compensation boards take fraudulent claims very seriously and routinely prosecute such claims to the fullest extent of the law.
- Keep a record of all relevant employer information such as the name of your direct superior, the address of your company, paystubs, and other relevant information regarding the status of your employment with the company
- Be sure to learn the name of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, the address and contact person at the insurance company, and, if possible, your case or claim number
- Keep receipts for all medical treatments, medications, related travel expenses, and all other costs related to your injury. If your claim is approved these costs will be reimbursed to you by the insurance carrier.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations precisely and attend each required doctor’s visit
In many cases, it is possible for you to complete the initial workers’ compensation claim paperwork yourself with no issues. However, if you have trouble or receive notice of a denial of your claim, it is important to contact an experienced accident lawyer immediately. We have the skills and knowledge needed to help you pursue the maximum benefits you are entitled to.
THIRD PARTY INJURY CLAIMS
People who are injured in work-related accidents may be able to obtain compensation from a third party, in addition to their workers’ compensation benefits. If your accident was caused by the negligent actions of someone other than yourself or your employer, it is possible to pursue compensation from that third party’s insurance carrier.
Third party accidents often involve:
- Subcontractors working on your employer’s property
- Outside maintenance technicians
- Product manufacturers
- Service providers
We have the experience needed to help you pursue compensation from the negligent party and will help you explore every available legal option during your quest for justice for your injuries.