Getting hurt on the job or being diagnosed with a work-related illness can be devastating to a worker and his or her family. If you find yourself in this position, you may be under tremendous strain. However, it is important to stay calm and focused on what is important: Your health and your legal rights.
As an injured or ill worker, you may have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can pay for your medical expenses. They can also help to cover a percentage of the wages if you are out of work during your recovery.
The Florence workers’ compensation lawyers of Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., have set out the following three crucial steps that you should take when seeking workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina.
In addition to following these three steps, we believe it is important to take a fourth step: Getting help from an experienced attorney from our firm. At Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., we will take a sincere interest in your well-being and work hard to protect your rights.
Since 1969, we have been helping injured and ill workers in Florence and throughout South Carolina to pursue the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. We are ready to help you, too.
Contact us today to receive an immediate, free consultation. We can discuss your case and the steps we will take to assist you with filing a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim. You can count on us to protect your rights through every stage of the process.
REPORT YOUR WORK RELATED INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER.
If you are hurt in an on-the-job accident, you should give notice to your employer at that time or as soon as you have the opportunity to do so. In any event, you must give notice to your employer within 90 days after the accident, or else you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If you were diagnosed with repetitive trauma or an occupational disease, then you must give notice to your employer within 90 days of the date you discovered the illness or could have discovered it by “exercising reasonable diligence,” or within 90 days of your definitive diagnosis.
Once you give your employer notice of your injury or illness, the employer should then report it to its workers’ compensation insurer. The insurer, in turn, reports your claim to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION WITHOUT DELAY.
When you are injured in a workplace accident
or suffer from a work-related illness, your top priority should be to have your employer send you for a medical diagnosis and treatment. Make sure the doctor knows your injury or illness arose from your work. Describe the exact mechanism of injury if possible.
If you are an employee who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, then workers’ compensation medical benefits should pay for all medical costs that arise from your injury or illness, including:
- Emergency room treatment
- Assistive devices
You do not have to pay a deductible. Additionally, you may be entitled to reimbursement of transportation costs that are related to your medical care.
However, in order to be covered through workers’ comp, you must go to a medical care provider that is chosen by your employer or by its workers’ compensation insurer.
If you are not satisfied with the treatment, you can seek authorization to see a different provider. You should contact our firm right away if your employer or its insurer refuses to allow the desired change in your medical care provider.
FILE A CLAIM WITH THE S.C. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION.
What should you do if your employer fails to report your injury or illness or denies that your condition is work-related, or if you do not receive the full amount in benefits that you believe you are entitled to receive?
The answer: You must file a claim on your own with the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission.
If you are filing a claim based on an accident-related injury, repetitive trauma or occupational disease, you must file Form 50. (If you are filing a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits after losing a loved one to a workplace accident, you would file Form 52.)
You should be prepared to give information that includes:
- Name of your employer
- Date of your injury or diagnosis
- Body parts injured or otherwise affected
- Date you gave notice to your employer
- Medical treatment that is needed
- Name of medical care provider who has treated you to date
- Types of benefits you are seeking.
You will also need to check a box that indicates whether you are requesting a hearing. If you are requesting a hearing, you will need to pay a $25 fee.
Keep in mind: You must file your South Carolina workers’ compensation claim within two years after the date of your work accident or the date of your loved one’s death.
If you are filing a claim based on repetitive trauma or an occupational disease, you must file the claim within two years of the date of your discovery or diagnosis.
Get Help from our Florence Workers’ Comp Lawyers
You can easily become overwhelmed by the workers’ compensation process when you are dealing with an injury or illness. Instead of taking the risk that you may make a mistake when filing your paperwork or miss a deadline, you should contact a workers comp attorney who has experience with filing workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina.
Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., can make sure your claim is properly and timely filed. We can also represent you throughout the process, including seeking to resolve your workers’ compensation dispute through a mediated settlement or, if needed, through a hearing.
We are highly skilled negotiators and litigators who will be driven by one goal: Doing everything we can to seek the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
We understand how difficult it can be to cope with a work-related injury or illness. We can ease your stress by focusing our skill, experience and resources on protecting your legal rights.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys serve clients in Florence and throughout South Carolina.
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