If you suffer an injury on the job in South Carolina, you will need to take specific steps in order to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Here, we take you through some of the basic steps that the process involves. Of course, if you encounter any problems with your benefits claim or have more questions about the process, you should contact an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at Joye Law Firm right away.
Get Medical Attention
If you suffer an injury in an accident that occurs while you are on the job in South Carolina, you should seek medical attention without delay. For the sake of your health, you need to get diagnosed and started on a course of treatment as early as possible. You should make sure to tell the doctor that your injury occurred on the job.
Report Your Injury
Generally speaking, within 90 days after you suffer an injury in a job-related accident, you must report the incident to your employer. At this point, it becomes your employer’s responsibility to report the injury to its workers’ compensation insurer. Of course, there are also some exceptions, which is another reason why you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
File Your Claim
South Carolina law requires employers to report workplace injuries within 10 days after they receive notice from an employee. Still, some employers drag their feet or simply refuse to file a claim at all. If this occurs to you, you will need to file a claim by submitting Form 50 or Form 52 to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Generally, you will have two years from the date of the discovery of the injury to file a claim for benefits.
If the Employer/Insurer Approves Your Claim
If your employer (or its workers’ compensation insurer) approves your claim for benefits, you should be eligible to receive medical benefits. If your injury prevents you from working, you could also receive compensation at the rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Once seven days have passed since your injury occurred, you should begin to receive those payments.
On the other hand, a doctor may choose to release you to a light duty role that pays less than what you earned before. As a result, you could be eligible to receive up to two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wages before and after the accident. An attorney can advise you of the different benefits options available to you.
If the Employer/Insurer Denies Your Claim
If your employer (or its insurer) denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you can request a hearing before one of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission commissioners. If you disagree with this decision, you can continue to appeal by requesting review of your claim by a panel of commissioners. You may eventually need to seek judicial review by the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Ultimately, the success of your appeal will depend on your ability to present a well-supported case and a strong argument for why the initial decision on your claim was wrong. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will know how to effectively prepare and present your appeal.
Our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You
Getting through all of the steps in a workers’ compensation claim can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. It will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injury and whether your employer (or its insurer) is cooperative or willing to settle.
To discuss how the workers’ comp attorneys of Joye Law Firm can help you to get through this process and pursue the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve, call or reach us online today. We will provide a free consultation.