If you are injured on the job in South Carolina, you have a number of rights. For instance, most workers who get hurt on the job have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those rights, unfortunately, do not come with automatic protection. You sometimes have to work hard to protect them. At Joye Law Firm, we take up that fight for our clients every day.
If you suffer a work-related injury in South Carolina, you should be aware of the following specific rights that you may enjoy:
The Right to Medical Benefits
One of the most important workers’ compensation benefits gives you the right to payment of all of your reasonable and related medical bills. Some of the medical expenses that workers’ compensation can cover include:
- Medical devices
- Medical supplies
- Prescribed medications
- Hospital charges
- Outpatient or clinic visits
- Physician follow-up appointments.
Your employer has the right to require you to see a doctor that its insurance carrier designates. However, if that provider is unreasonable or refuses to treat your injury, you have the right to challenge the provider’s findings and medical determinations.
The Right to Lost Wage Benefits
Most workers who are seriously injured find that they cannot work for a period of time. When this happens, you are entitled to compensation for lost income. This is calculated as a percentage of your typical wage, depending on the nature and severity of the injury and whether it is a permanent or temporary one.
The Right to a Hearing
If your employer unjustly denies your claim, or its insurance carrier acts in bad faith by denying a valid claim, you have a right to request a hearing before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. You should be aware that having a lawyer represent you before the Commission will greatly improve your chances of success. A lawyer may also work with your employer to reach a settlement, which would avoid the need for a hearing.
The Right to be Free from Retaliation
South Carolina law expressly forbids employers from retaliating against injured workers who file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes taking adverse employment actions, reducing pay, demoting employees, terminating injured workers or engaging in hostile or harassing conduct that makes continued employment impossible.
The Right to Pursue Personal Injury Damages
Even if you were on the job, the party responsible for your injury may be someone other than your employer. For instance, if you were hurt in a car wreck on the job, and the other driver was at-fault, then you would still have a right to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver to collect compensation from them (or their insurance company) as well.
Our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Will Protect Your Rights
Since 1968, Joye Law Firm has aggressively yet compassionately navigated the civil justice system for our clients, helping thousands of injured people throughout South Carolina. Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience, so you can trust that we have the resources and skills necessary to take your case from start to finish. If you feel your rights as a worker have been violated, contact us today to schedule a private free consultation at one of our four convenient locations throughout the state.