When you get hurt on the job, you could be facing substantial medical bills as well as the prospect of not being able to return to work immediately. Fortunately, nearly all employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance offers injured employees a fairly straightforward path to compensation.
While you may be able to secure workers’ compensation on your own, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can help to streamline the process. Doing so also lets you focus on recovering from your injury rather than stressing over trying to recover the money necessary to pay for it.
How Workers’ Compensation Helps Both Workers and Businesses
Without workers’ compensation insurance, anytime a worker was injured on the job, they would have to file a civil lawsuit against their employer if they hoped to recover compensation. Fortunately, workers’ compensation negates that need.
Instead of going through the lengthy and often messy process of taking your employer to trial, you can simply file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance and, if approved, get paid shortly thereafter.
Employers also benefit from workers’ compensation insurance, in that it helps them to avoid lawsuits. Without this insurance, a small company could end up bankrupt if an employee were to get seriously injured. Meanwhile, large businesses could find themselves constantly contesting personal injury lawsuits from their employees.
Workers’ compensation also takes a load off of the courts. Without workers’ compensation, an already strained court system would be flooded with additional personal injury lawsuits.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
After getting injured at work, you need to make sure you follow the correct procedure in order to recover workers’ compensation benefits. South Carolina has a two-year statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims. However, some steps need to be taken much sooner.
You have 90 days from the date of your injury to inform your employer. While you are not required to inform them in writing, doing so is to your advantage, as that way you will have evidence that this task was performed on time. Tell your supervisor about the accident in person and follow up with an email.
After that, you need to seek medical attention. Your employer should inform you of approved doctors that you can visit. While you must go to an employer-approved physician, you can also get a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. Of course, if it is an emergency, the ambulance will take you from your workplace directly to the nearest emergency room.
Your employer should guide you through all of the steps necessary to file your claim and then submit it to the insurance company on your behalf.
Is Filing a Lawsuit an Option?
In the majority of workplace accidents, your only option for financial restitution is going to be through a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are certainly exceptions to this rule. If your injuries resulted from a deliberate action to cause you harm on the part of your employer, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Additionally, if your injuries were caused by a third party, not directly tied to your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that party. When a defective tool leads to an on-the-job injury, you can file a defective product lawsuit against the tool manufacturer. Similarly, if you are involved in a car accident while working, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Sullivan’s Island Will Do for You
A workers’ compensation attorney in Sullivan’s Island can help you to recover the money you need after an accident. You may not choose to hire a lawyer when first filing the application for workers’ compensation benefits, as the process is fairly straightforward. However, if your application gets denied, a workers’ compensation lawyer can be essential in an appeal.
If you choose to hire a lawyer from the start, the chances of your claim getting accepted the first time around will likely increase. Even if your lawyer handles the filing of the claim in the exact manner you would have done, simply showing the insurance company that you are serious about getting compensation will improve your odds.
Insurance companies hate to pay out claims and will do everything in their power to avoid having to do so. When they know that their grounds for denial are flimsy, having a lawyer already attached will show them that a denial will certainly be countered with an appeal.
Your workers’ compensation attorney can also advise you on whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. If a third party was liable for your accident, your attorney can help with filing a lawsuit and fight for fair compensation.
Contact Our Sullivan’s Island Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Help
When choosing a Sullivan’s Island workers’ compensation lawyer, it is important to find someone with plenty of experience handling cases similar to yours. At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, we have helped countless workers get back on their feet after a workplace accident. The sooner we can get started helping you, the sooner you will receive the money you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form. We believe that all accident victims should have access to experienced legal counsel. We will review the particulars of your case, answer your questions, and offer advice, all with no obligation to retain our services.