Myth One: A "nice" insurance adjuster is looking out for your best interest and will give you all the benefits in which you are entitled.
It is important to understand that an insurance adjuster does not have a moral or legal obligation to ensure you receive all workers' compensation benefits in which you are entitled. They may be nice to you, but they are not looking out for your interest.
Myth Two: If I file a workers' compensation claim, my employer can fire me.
Unfortunately, if you live in South Carolina, you live in an employee at will state, meaning that unless you have a contract that states otherwise, you may be fired at no cause at all.
However, South Carolina has a law that states that your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers' compensation claim. See Section 41-1-80.
Myth Three: Every attorney is knowledgeable representing people in workers' compensation claims.
No one attorney can stay up-to-date with changing laws and procedure to handle every area of the law. The Derrick Law Firm concentrates on Workers' Compensation claims, Wrongful Death/Personal Injury claims and Social Security claims. These three areas of law are interrelated and involve people who have become disabled and are entitled to benefits for their health and their livelihoods.
Regardless of whether you use the Derrick Law Firm or not, make sure the attorney and the law firm has years of experience and has not just listed worker's compensation as an area of practice in an ad.
Myth Five: I have no money and therefore cannot afford an attorney.
The Derrick Law Firm charges no money up front in worker's compensation cases. The South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission must approve any attorney fees charged by an attorney regarding a worker's compensation claim.
The majority of cases at the Derrick Law Firm are admitted claims in which the employer and the worker's compensation insurance carrier admits that an accident occurred. No fee is charged to make sure those benefits are paid. Our fee usually from the amount of permanent partial disability or permanent total disability obtained for the client once he/she has been released from medical care and returned to work. Our fee is one-third contingency fee wherein we do not get paid if we do not win and all of our fees come from payment from the insurance carrier that is obtained.
Myth Six: Workers' Compensation does not require an attorney therefore I can handle the case on my own.
If someone has a sprained ankle or a broken little finger, which are expected to heal completely and as long as that individual receives their compensation pay while they are out of work, their medical treatment and reimbursements for travel, he or she probably doesn't need an attorney.
However, if someone has a substantial injury and one that will have a lasting effect on that person's ability to work or move a body part, that individual needs a worker's compensation attorney or he/she will be at a great disadvantage.