Workers’ compensation claims are common, considering that roughly 2.8 million workers reported workplace injuries on the job in 2019. If you get hurt on the job, you don’t have to pay for any of your damages on your own. Our workers’ compensation lawyers in South Carolina can help.
You have legal rights to a fair settlement, and you deserve protection. With the right workers’ comp experts at MDSW Legal fighting hard on your behalf, you won’t have to let the insurance companies or your employer take advantage of you after an accident.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
There are certain steps that need to be taken after a workplace accident in order to secure a workers’ compensation claim. The statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim is two years under SC Code § 42-15-40. However, there are other deadlines that must also be met. For instance, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 90 days.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
Verbal notice is sufficient, but additional notification through email will create a paper trail that you may need in case of a problem with your claim.
Seek Medical Care
You will need a diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional in order to recover compensation. You will need to visit a doctor approved by your employer. However, you may get a second opinion from a doctor of your own choosing. Of course, in an emergency situation, an ambulance will take you to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Follow All Your Doctor’s Orders
If the insurer finds out that you have failed to follow your doctor’s orders, they can use that against you to reduce the value of your claim. Make sure to follow all treatment orders prescribed by your doctor.
Keep Detailed Notes
You should keep detailed notes about all aspects of your accident and care. They will be necessary if your claim is disputed by the insurance company. You should also make copies of any forms you fill out.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Always be wary of your employer’s insurance company. While they may seem like they have your best interests at heart, the truth is that they only want to protect their bottom line. Their main goal is to get you to settle for way less than what your settlement is actually worth.
If an insurance adjuster or a representative from your employer tries to speak with you about your injuries and damages, try not to talk to them. Anything you say or do can get used against you when you file a claim.
The main goal of an adjuster is to get you to admit fault for your accident or try to claim your damages aren’t as severe as you say. This would absolve the insurance company and the employer from paying you the total amount of compensation owed or anything at all. You can fight back against these tactics by having a workers’ compensation lawyer by your side.
Why You Should Retain a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Many people never have to navigate a workplace accident in their lives. Those who do rarely know what steps to take, and this ignorance ends up hurting their recovery in the long run. Hiring a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney from the Thumbs Up Guys has numerous benefits.
Focus on Your Recovery
Workplace injuries can range from mild to severe. If your injuries are serious, you need to rest and recover. Above anything else, your health is essential. In addition, having to deal with the stress and frustration of settlement negotiations and other legal battles can take a huge toll physically and mentally.
You don’t need to hinder your recovery by focusing on two things at once. Instead, put your efforts towards healing and moving forward with your medical treatment. Let our workers’ compensation lawyers handle all the legal aspects of your claim for you.
Get Results Fast
If the insurance company or your employer is stalling on your settlement, a lawyer can help you get results faster. This stalling tactic is mainly a way to pressure you into accepting a low settlement quickly. They know that the longer you wait, the more financial pressure you’ll face from your damages, thus incentivizing accepting their lowball offers.
With an attorney representing your best interests, these stall tactics won’t work. You can protect yourself from sneaky methods used to get you to settle for less. The very act of hiring a lawyer is often enough to get insurance companies to pay fairly.
Building a Strong Case and Gathering Evidence
As an injured worker building a claim, you’ll need a solid case with strong evidence backing it up if you hope to recover the maximum amount of compensation available. Insurance companies will not give you the settlement you deserve without putting up a decent fight beforehand.
The stronger the evidence, the better chances you have at recovering the financial compensation you need. We will aid you in getting critical evidence such as surveillance footage, medical records, and witness testimonies. We can even consult with experts in various fields to support your claim.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you are injured in a workplace accident, a workers’ compensation claim is typically your only option for compensation. However, there are some notable exceptions to this rule.
For instance, if your injury resulted from your employer’s negligence in providing a reasonably safe workplace, you may be able to sue them instead. Similarly, if your employer acted with intent to cause you harm, you are eligible to file a lawsuit.
You may also be able to file a lawsuit if your injuries resulted from the fault of a third party. For example, if a defective tool caused your accident, you can file a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer. Additionally, if your accident occurred while offsite, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the property where the injury occurred.
How Much Will My Settlement Be Worth?
The truth is, there’s no way to tell just how much your specific case is worth. However, a workers’ compensation lawyer in South Carolina can give you a more accurate assessment. How much your workers’ compensation case is worth generally depends on:
- How severe your damages are
- How much your damages have impacted your life
- How much you were at fault for your damages
There are various economic and non-economic damages that you may be able to recover. What damages you can claim depend on the specifics of your case and whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Economic damages are very straightforward and typically have a fixed value. These damages consist of medical expenses, lost wages, and any property damages. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or wrongful death, are a bit more complex. These require various formulas to calculate accurately.
In addition, other factors such as the impairment rating and medical guidelines will directly impact your settlement’s value.
Contact Our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act allows you to file a claim and get the settlement you need for your damages. However, that doesn’t mean it guarantees a fair settlement to you.
If you want compensation that truly reflects your damages, you need Miller, Dawson, Sigal, & Ward in your corner. Call us or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free case review from our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at no risk to you.