Workplace injuries aren’t just painful—they’re expensive. An injury can keep you off the job for a long time and put great financial pressure on you and your family. If you’re wondering how you’ll make ends meet while you recover, talk with our workers’ compensation lawyers in Ladson at MDSW Legal.
You have a right to workers’ compensation, but getting your claim through the system takes time. They could also undervalue your injuries. By hiring one of our trusted advocates, you’ll have someone on your side to help you with your claim or appeal, and avoid mistakes that could lower your compensation.
How Workers’ Compensation Works in South Carolina
Workers’ compensation is a replacement for suing your employer in court. Instead of suing, employers must carry insurance to cover the costs of workplace accidents. Unlike other personal injury claims, you don’t have to prove fault.
Sometimes, you can sue your employer directly for an injury. If they intentionally did so or committed gross misconduct or negligence, that opportunity is open to you. Also, if they do not carry the required insurance, you may then sue.
You will have to see a doctor that your employer selects, unless there was a medical emergency. With that diagnosis, you can make a claim to the insurer for payment using a Form 50. You or your lawyer can fill this form out.
What Are My Responsibilities?
There are several responsibilities you must perform to claim compensation under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. These include:
- Immediately reporting your injury to a supervisor or HR
- See the doctor assigned by your employer (you can request that the employer be responsible for the appropriate medical treatment or see your own doctor for a second opinion, but that cost will not be covered)
- File your Form 50 in a timely manner, and with complete and accurate information
- Follow all the instructions your doctor gives you for your medical care
The insurance company will reply to your claim with a Form 51. They may admit you have a claim or deny it. If it is denied, the case goes to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for investigation, and a hearing is scheduled where you can present your case.
The commissioner responsible for your case will make a ruling and assign compensation to you. If either side is unhappy with the result, they can make appeals. You have 14 days to appeal after the initial decision.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Helps with My Claim
Workers rarely know the best way to frame their claims to make the insurers and the Workers’ Compensation Commission listen to what you have to say. You can make sure the claim is done correctly if you hire a lawyer to make it on your behalf.
A lawyer is invaluable should your claim get denied and you have to face a hearing. You can be sure that the insurer will have lawyers on their side arguing against the claims you made. We act as your legal shield and sword to fight for your version of events.
Finally, should your case be denied or less than you need, we can fight for you through the appeals process. Also, by hiring a workers’ comp lawyer in Ladson, you can focus on recovery from your injuries while a skilled expert handles your legal situation.
Appealing Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
You have 14 days after a denial to decide if you want to appeal. Your lawyer can help you with that decision. If you decide to go ahead, or if the other side insists on an appeal, you’ll have another hearing to the full Workers’ Compensation Commission except the one who heard your case.
After that, the appeal process can continue up to the Circuit Court and the South Carolina Supreme Court. However, most cases end after the first appeal. By that point, there is plenty of evidence and expert opinion about the situation.
Going higher is usually because of a situation that’s new to the law or where there are some subtle nuances that need to be hammered out by the courts. These are the cases that help transform the system and make it better for future claimants.
Get Representation for Your Claim Now
Until you’ve had a workers’ compensation lawyer look over your claim, you don’t know if you may be leaving money on the table. You should take full advantage of the system to cover all your costs, not just the ones you know about or the ones the insurer thinks you need.
To speak with our Ladson workers’ compensation lawyers at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, call us or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Your consultation is free and without obligation.
Remember, you have a limited amount of time to file your claim after you’ve reported it to your employer. Call now or contact us online so that you don’t miss your opportunity.