An on-the-job injury can be a frightening experience, not only for the employee, but also for his or her family. Work-related injuries often mean that an employee cannot return to work in a timely manner—if at all—leaving an employee with no source of income. In the meantime, medical bills and other daily living expenses continue to mount. Fortunately for many South Carolina employees, workers’ compensation may be available to provide the financial relief that is so desperately needed.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Simply put, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance designed to protect employees who are injured while on the job. This benefit provides compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, and is designed to apply regardless of who is at fault for the injury or how the accident occurred. In exchange for providing these benefits to employees, employers receive the benefit of avoiding lawsuits brought by employees seeking compensation for the costs associated with their medical treatment, disability, or lost wages. Injured workers must report their injury to their employer, preferably in writing, within 90 days of the accident. In turn, the employer must ensure that you receive medical attention and notify the insurance company of the injury. The insurance company then notifies the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation?
A large portion of employees working in South Carolina may find themselves potentially eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Generally, an employee is eligible if he or she falls under the following criteria:
- Employees who are injured while working or who develop an illness related to their employment conditions in the workplace environment.
- Employees whose injury or illness occurred or was caused in the workplace or was related to the work.
- Employees working for companies with four or more employees.
If you suspect that you may be eligible for benefits, it is important to seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you are able to after your injury. Shelly Leeke Law Firm is proud to offer complimentary initial consultations to review the unique facts and circumstances of your claim. We will meet with you at your home or wherever is most convenient for you, or you may come to one of our several office locations.
How Can an Attorney Help With a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
As part of the workers’ compensation claim process, it is vital to understand that the employer and its insurance company will want to keep their expenses to a minimum. Hiring an attorney is not required when pursuing a claim; however, you may be at a significant disadvantage if you choose to navigate this process alone. Hiring an attorney to be in your corner can be very beneficial for many reasons, including the following:
- Conflicts often arise between employers and employees even when a previously good relationship existed;
- Employers and their insurance companies may want you to see a doctor of their choosing;
- Employers and their insurance companies may require that you prove the wages that you would have made if you had not suffered the injury;
- Employers and their insurance companies often have extensive resources and a team of legal professionals at their disposal when dealing with these claims, putting you at a disadvantage if you do not have legal counsel.
By choosing a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to stand in your corner, you help level the playing field between yourself and your employer, as well as their insurance company.
We encourage you to contact us today at 1-888-690-0211 for a complimentary case evaluation.