Most employers across South Carolina provide their employees with workers’ compensation protection coverage. Unfortunately, the claims process is often far more complex than people realize. It is crucial to understand how to file for workers’ comp in South Carolina so you can avoid some of the hassles that come with dealing with the insurance company.
With help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm, you can focus on healing from your injuries while we help you prepare your claim and deal with insurance company denials.
Filing a South Carolina Workers Compensation Claim
According to South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, every employer that has four or more employees is obligated to purchase workers’ compensation protection coverage. This coverage extends to workers who suffer on-the-job injuries as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
It does not matter whether you have worked for your employer for one day, 90 days, or several years. From the moment you are hired, whether you are a temporary, seasonal, part-time, or full-time employee, you should be protected by workers’ compensation coverage. However, applying for these benefits is another matter.
Call a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in South Carolina for Help Immediately
Before you do anything, make sure you hire a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. Although you may be happy with your job and trust in your employer, you need a legal advocate on your side who will always prioritize your interests.
Your employer pays workers’ compensation premiums monthly or annually. When an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company increases the employer’s monthly or annual premiums. For this reason, it is not uncommon for employers to discourage employees from filing workers’ compensation claims.
They may also encourage you to come back to work sooner than you are reasonably able to do so, which could increase your risk of injury or worse than your existing injuries. You can work with a workers’ compensation lawyer on contingency, so you will never have to put a retainer down to hire a legal advocate. Instead, your attorney covers all of the costs that arise when pursuing your claim, and if they win, a percentage of your winnings covers your attorney’s fees and expenses.
File an Incident Report and Notify Your Employer
Next, you must file an incident report and notify your employer of your injuries. Even if you have never filed an incident report before, be sure to speak with your supervisors, management, or human resources department. You will need to file a formal document that details how the accident occurred, the identities of the parties involved, and other important information that you may forget as time goes on.
According to the law, you have a maximum of 90 days from the date of the accident to report your work injury to your employer. If you fail to notify your employer of your injuries, it could be devastating for your case, as you may be barred from receiving the workers’ comp benefits you might have otherwise been able to secure.
Although the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is two years from the date of the accident, if you do not notify your employer within the 90-day time period, You may lose the opportunity to recover valuable workers’ comp benefits you need to get through these difficult times.
Your Workers Comp Attorney Will Ensure Your Employer Files Your Claim
Once you have notified your employer of your injuries, it will be up to them to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You might be surprised to discover that it is not your responsibility to file your claim. Instead, your employer must submit your workers’ comp claim to the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission (SCWCC).
Once the insurance company receives your claim, it will be up to them to conduct an investigation and determine whether your application should be approved. Do not be surprised if the insurance company initially denies your claim. It loses money by paying out on claims and will often scrutinize them in the hopes of reducing its financial obligations.
Prepare to Appeal Workers’ Comp Denials
If you receive a workers’ comp. denial, you may initially feel as though all hope is lost. However, this is not the case. You may need to request a hearing if your employer does not file your claim for benefits or did not report your accident to the SCWCC. If the insurance company denies your claim or is attempting to deny you the total amount of the benefits you deserve, your workers’ compensation attorney can help you with a formal appeal.
Generally, you can get denials overturned by providing the insurance company with additional evidence to support your case, medical records, photos of your injuries, and other relevant information that they have been lacking. When you have a legal advocate, the insurance company sees you are taking your case seriously and is more likely to settle your case fairly.
However, if the insurance company handles your claim in bad faith, your workers’ compensation attorney will be prepared to bring them to trial or request a hearing before the SCWCC, who are more likely to see reason and have no financial interest in denying your claim.
Get in Touch with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help Today
Filing for workers’ compensation can be intimidating. When you have the right legal advocate on your side, you do not need to worry about anything. Our team will help you prepare your workers’ comp application and deal with the insurance company if your claim is denied so you can get the approval you need as soon as possible.
You should not have to continue to struggle financially when you have suffered a work-related injury. Our team at Shelly Leeke Law Firm is here to help you file for workers’ comp in South Carolina so you can start to pick up the pieces of your life. Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation today and learn more about what is next for your workers’ comp claim or denial.