a man filling up a workers compensation form

Most people employed in South Carolina are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, which pays benefits if they are injured on the job. Nearly all businesses are required to have workers’ comp insurance. The typical worker never gives it a thought until they have a workplace accident.

An injured worker who is at home or in the hospital recovering from an injury might hear from friends or family that they should hire a workers’ compensation attorney. Understandably, an injured worker may have questions about whether hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer is necessary.

At Joye Law Firm in North Charleston, we can review your workplace accident and discuss whether hiring a workers’ comp attorney makes sense in your situation. We offer free, no-obligation legal consultations to review your case.

Joye Law Firm had five lawyers in its North Charleston Office recognized in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of workers compensation – claimants. We are proud to stand up for injured workers and help them access all the benefits available by South Carolina law. We do not charge a legal fee unless we obtain money for you. Contact us today.

The Advantages of Engaging a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The workers’ compensation system must address every potential need and circumstance presented by an injured or ill worker in South Carolina. This has caused the system to grow into a complex program overseen by the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Some employers or insurance administrators will attempt to deny valid workers’ comp claims to avoid paying benefits to injured workers. Workers’ comp insurance claims payouts may increase insurance premiums, a cost some businesses strive to avoid.

Most injured workers are new to the workers’ compensation claims process. They have not had a prior workplace injury. Having never filed a claim, they may be unsure of the benefits available.

Many injured workers don’t realize that a basic workers’ comp claim should pay for all of their medical expenses related to an eligible injury and cover about two-thirds of their weekly wages while they are unable to work. Few know what scheduled payment they would receive for a specific disabling on-the-job injury, such as loss of a limb or loss of eyesight.

Many valid workers’ compensation claims are denied or underpaid by insurance administrators. If your workers’ comp claim is disputed or denied after a workplace accident, or you believe you are receiving less than you are owed, then let a knowledgeable attorney review the details and discuss your options.

The injured employee who engages a workers’ compensation lawyer has the advantage of the attorneys’ knowledge and experience with the system. Our North Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys at Joye Law Firm have been helping injured employees navigate the system and seek full compensation for workplace accidents since 1968. Our lawyers bring nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience to the table when we represent an injured worker.

The Role of Your Attorney in a Workers’ Compensation Case

Our workers’ comp attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help make sure your claim is filed correctly and that you are receiving the benefits you are due. If your claim has been denied, we can file an appeal on your behalf and represent you in dealings with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.repetitive trauma injury

There are multiple reasons that an employer or their insurer administrator might cite in denying a workers’ compensation claim. Most often, they’ll claim the worker’s injury did not occur while he or she was on the job. They may also claim the injury was a pre-existing condition. Cases of repetitive stress injuries, which develop over time, are often incorrectly linked to pre-existing conditions.

Another common tactic used to dispute an injured employee’s eligibility for workers’ comp benefits is to claim that the worker is an independent contractor rather than an employee. We can help you cite specific requirements of your job that qualify you as an employee for purposes of obtaining workers’ compensation coverage.

We may be able to help you if an employer or insurance company:

  • Says you failed to report your workplace injury on time. South Carolina law requires you to notify your employer of an occupational injury within 90 days of the accident. There are certain exceptions to the 90-day deadline, such as being unable to provide notice due to physical or mental incapacity or if your employer already knew about your injury.
  • Claims your injuries were caused by willful misconduct. This would make you ineligible for workers’ comp, but your employer would have to prove you knew the activity was against the rules and likely to cause injury, but that you engaged in the activity anyway and were injured through your own misconduct.
  • Disputes your need for further medical treatment and wants you to return to work before you are able. If your doctor releases you to return to light-duty work, you have the right to get a second medical opinion, which may be entered as evidence in an appeal.
  • Takes back money because you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Medicare benefits. We can assess your claim and your full benefit from all sources to determine what you are truly owed and how your workers’ comp settlement should be structured.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you throughout the process of your claim, including advising you of your responsibilities to remain eligible for benefits. For example, you must follow the assigned doctor’s instructions, including attending all follow-up appointments. You must accept light duty work your employer offers if you are able to do it.

Contact Our SC Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Our North Charleston workers’ comp lawyers at Joye Law Firm can advise you about all aspects of a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. We will work to obtain the maximum benefit available to you. We have offices in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Clinton, and Summerville, S.C. We handle workplace injury cases across the state. We represent injured workers on a contingency fee basis. That means we only collect a fee if we recover compensation for you. Contact us today.

 

 

About the Author

Ken Harrell joined Joye Law Firm in 1994, and has been the managing partner since 2006. With 30 years of experience, he protects the rights of injured South Carolinians, including cases involving workers’ compensation, car accidents, and defective products. Ken also leads the firm’s referral practice, helping to ensure that our clients receive the best possible representation. He is a past president of South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, and has served as the co-chairman of this organization’s legislative affairs committee for 12 years.

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