two workers filling out an accident injury report on a laptop | Myrtle Beach South Carolina Workers' Compensation LawyerYou are not required to have legal representation when filing a workers' comp claim in Florence. If your work-related injury is a minor one resulting in low medical bills and little or no time off work, you might be able to pursue your claim on your own as long as you meet all deadlines and satisfy all procedural requirements.

If, however, your injury or illness is severe enough to require expensive medical care and significant time away from work, the services of a workers' comp attorney are highly recommended to help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

Understanding South Carolina Workers' Compensation

Workers' comp is no-fault insurance that covers South Carolina employees' work-related injuries and occupational diseases. If you're hurt or become ill in the course of doing your job, you're generally entitled to benefits that will pay your medical bills and reimburse you for two-thirds of your lost wages.

Most South Carolina employers with four or more employees are required to carry workers' comp insurance. Only railroads, agricultural businesses, state and county fairs, and companies with annual payrolls of less than $3,000 are exempt. While most South Carolina employees are eligible to receive workers' comp benefits, the following are exceptions to the rule:

  • Independent contractors
  • Commissioned real estate agents
  • Sole proprietors or business partners
  • Federal employees of the state

If you fall into one of these categories or if your employer is exempt, an attorney might be able to help you seek alternate sources of compensation.

What to Know About Deadlines and Other Requirements

If you are eligible for workers' comp, the claims process can be a complicated one, and it's important to do everything right in order to receive fair benefits. For example, the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (SCWCC) allows you 90 days to report a work-related accidental injury and two years to file your workers' comp claim. What many claimants don't realize, however, is that you should do both as soon as possible after your accident or the diagnosis of your occupational illness.

If you delay reporting, filing, or seeking medical care until the last minute, your employer's insurer is apt to dispute your claim on the grounds that you would have acted sooner had you been seriously hurt. While you're focusing on medical treatment and recovery from your injury, your attorney can make sure you act in a timely fashion, avoid missing deadlines, and meet all requirements necessary for a successful claim.

Fighting Employer Retaliation

Many injured workers hesitate to file workers' comp claims because they fear their employers might fire them or retaliate against them in other ways. Employer retaliation for filing, however, is strictly prohibited. If you're terminated or punished on the job after filing your claim, your attorney can represent you in a hearing before the SCWCC or a Commission Review and fight back against retaliation.

Proving Your Injury Is Work Related

If your injury or illness is one that has developed over time on the job (like carpel tunnel syndrome), your employer's insurer is likely to claim it's not work-related or that it's the result of a pre-existing condition. An experienced workers' comp lawyer can consult with your doctors, request an independent medical exam, and bring in expert witnesses to help prove your injury is work-related and that you're entitled to benefits.

Appealing a Denied Claim

If your claim is denied for any reason, you may ask for an informal conference with the employer and its insurer to question that decision. You may also request a hearing before the SCWCC or a Commission Review to appeal the denial. At such proceedings, your employer's insurer will be represented by its lawyers, who are well-trained and well-paid to dispute your claim. Having your own workers' comp attorney there to represent you and counter their arguments is vital to level the playing field and increase your chances of success. Your lawyer can also appeal your denied claim to the South Carolina Court of Appeals or Supreme Court if necessary.

What Is a Third-Party Lawsuit?

Although you generally may not sue your employer for your work-related injury, your attorney can file a civil suit against any third party that bears partial responsibility for your accident. (An outside cleaning service that leaves a floor slippery and causes you to fall or a manufacturer of faulty equipment that injures you, for example.) A successful third-party suit can provide compensation for your pain and suffering, which workers' comp does not cover, and help make up for one-third of the lost wages that workers' comp benefits don't include.

Have You Been Injured On The Job In South Carolina?

If you've been hurt at your job in South Carolina, you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Florence personal injury office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our CharlestonConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.