All industries carry a degree of risk. If you are injured at work or suffer from a work related injury, under South Carolina law you are entitled to receive compensation for medical treatment and lost wages. This financial recovery is referred to as workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation lawyers in North Charleston, SC can help injured workers navigate the complicated process that comes with filing a claim. From helping you choose a doctor to explaining your eligible benefits to submitting wage claims, our attorneys can prepare your case for negotiations and trial to avoid mistakes that could affect how much compensation you win.
Why Should I Hire a North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
You have a right to financial compensation if you were in a workplace accident and suffered an injury as a result. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that your valid claim gets denied. By hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in North Charleston, you can come back from this and still collect financial recovery by setting up a hearing.
Qualified workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced with insurance company’s tactics and how to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. While legally you can go up against your employer’s insurance company on your own, your claim has a higher risk of being denied or receiving an undervalued settlement.
By hiring a legal counsel for your claim, you get confidence in knowing your lawyer will fight for your right to financial compensation. As you focus your energy on recovering from your injuries, your workers’ compensation attorney will ensure your paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
What Damages Can Be Recovered With a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Unfortunately what you can be compensated for through a workers’ compensation is fairly limited, you can still recover economic damages with a claim. You are unable, however, to claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The following damages are covered by workers’ compensation in North Charleston:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Survivor’s benefits
Is it Expensive to Hire a Lawyer for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Hiring legal counsel for a workers’ compensation claim is risk-free. Many personal injury lawyers in North Charleston work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you will not be expected to pay anything upfront for legal services and your lawyer does not get paid unless you win compensation.
When first meeting with an attorney, they will explain what percentage of your total award you can expect to be set aside for legal fees. In most instances, workplace accident victims end up with a larger settlement of money after paying their lawyer than they would have received if they represented themselves.
Is it Possible for Me to FIle a Lawsuit Against My Employer?
In most situations, you typically cannot file a lawsuit against your employer. In very limited circumstances you can sue them. For instance, if your employer intentionally hurt you or did not carry the legally required workers’ compensation insurance, you’d have grounds for a lawsuit.
Other exceptions to this would be if your employer is guilty of gross negligence. Workers’ compensation insurance exists so injury claims are resolved quickly and because courts can be easily backed up, employers are required by law to carry this insurance.
Although workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages, your lawsuit can have a higher payout to rectify this. Your North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer can advise you on your best course of action and whether or not your case meets the requirements for filing a lawsuit
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina?
You have 90 days from the day of your workplace injury, in South Carolina, to report your accident to your employer. Your lawyer can then assist you in filing your claim with the state workers’ compensation agency, however this must be done within two years of the incident. Your employer may take care of filing your case on your behalf.
The sooner you alert your employer and file your claim, the better. When your case is recent and fresh, it is strongest because as time goes on witnesses’ memories can fade and evidence can be lost or become corrupt.
What Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Can Family Members Receive?
If your loved one passed away as a result of a workplace injury, certain family members can be compensated for the loss of financial support through workers’ compensation survivor’s benefits. Workers’ compensation can cover funeral expenses (anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000) for employees who have died as a result of their work injuries.
Workers’ comp also pays for the medical treatment the employee received before dying. Family members should not have to be responsible for paying remaining medical bills. The employee’s insurance company (or South Carolina’s workers’ compensation agency) will review your loved one’s medical bills to ensure their treatment was necessary and related to the work injury.
Call For Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation Today
The North Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys believe everyone deserves to have excellent and qualified legal counsel. To make our services accessible, our team offers free, no-obligation case evaluations for victims of workplace injuries.
During a consultation, your case will be assessed by a member of our team, and we will address any concerns you may have about compensation or your rights. In addition to our free consultations, our lawyers work on a contingency fee to assure accident victims that they can afford to have a qualified legal team on their side.
Do I Need a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you have suffered an injury in a workplace accident, you have the legal right to get fair compensation for your injury. Unfortunately, there are many valid workers’ comp claims that get denied. Hiring an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help to secure compensation to cover your costs.
A North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer knows how the insurance companies function and can help negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Going up against a big insurance company on your own is a risky move that can result in an undervalued settlement or complete denial of your claim.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
The good news for anyone suffering from a workplace injury is that hiring legal help is risk-free. The majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means that hiring us will not cost you any money out of pocket, because we do not get paid unless you get compensation.
During your initial consultation, your attorney will explain the percentage of the money you get that will be paid to them if you do receive payment. In most cases, accident victims go home with a higher amount of money after paying their lawyer than they would have received if they represented themselves.
Filing for Workers’ Comp in North Charleston, South Carolina
The last thing that you want to have to worry about when recovering from an injury is how you are going to pay your bills. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can give you the confidence that your financial situation is in good hands. This knowledge can help you to relax and focus on your recovery.
A workers’ comp attorney will help to make sure all of your paperwork is filed correctly and on time. If your claim gets denied, your workers’ comp lawyer can help appeal that decision and fight for your rights in a hearing.
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Can I Sue My Employer?
In most situations, you can not sue your employer for an injury. However, there are exceptions. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to keep workplace accident lawsuits from clogging up the courts. Workers comp is meant to be a quick way to resolve work injury claims. That is why employers are required by law to carry this insurance in 49 states.
You may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer if you are injured at work and you can prove any of the following conditions:
- Your employer doesn’t carry workers comp insurance (in states that require it).
- Your employer intentionally harmed you.
- Your employer is guilty of gross negligence.
Workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering, so a lawsuit has the potential to yield a higher payout. A workers’ comp lawyer can advise you on whether your case meets the requirements for filing a lawsuit and what option is best for you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In South Carolina, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 90 days. You must also file the claim with the state workers’ compensation agency within two years. In some cases, your employer will take care of the second step for you.
Both with reporting the injury to your employer and filing the claim with the state, the sooner you take care of it, the better. Your case is always strongest when the incident is fresh. Witness memory tends to fade over time, and evidence can become corrupted.
What Damages Are Covered in a Workers’ Comp Claim?
The damages that can be recovered from a workers’ comp claim are limited. You can not recover compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish. Some of the damages that may be covered by workers’ comp, include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Survivor’s benefits
What Are Workers’ Comp Survivor’s Benefits?
When a workplace accident results in a death, the family of the worker is entitled to compensation. Survivor’s benefits provide financial relief to those who have lost a loved one. If your loved one died in a workplace accident, you may be able to collect benefits.
These benefits can often be essential if the loved one was the primary earner for the family. The payouts tend to be significant in these cases in order to cover for the future lost earnings of the deceased.