An on-the-job injury can be a frightening experience, not only for the employee but also for their 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. When you need financial support and do not know where to turn for help, reach out to a reputable South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a 100% free consultation. Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers are ready to take up the fight for you!
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Simply put, according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance designed to protect employees who are injured while on the job. This program provides benefits 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 avoid the risk and expense of 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 you receive medical attention and notify the insurance company of the injury. The insurance company then notifies the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to anyone who suffers a work-related injury or occupational illness. Under the law, most companies in South Carolina are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation protection coverage.
As long as workers meet the eligibility requirements, they should begin receiving workers comp benefits shortly after application approval. Some of the different types of benefits that may be available include:
- Death benefits – These are available to surviving family members of an individual who passes away due to a work-related accident.
- Disability benefits – These are wage replacement benefits, usually amounting to approximately 2/3 of the injured worker’s average weekly salary.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits – These benefits are available to workers who will no longer be able to continue working in their current line of work and need job training or further education to re-enter the workforce.
- Medical benefits – Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider will cover the costs of your healthcare as they relate to your work injuries both now and in the future unless you settle your claim.
It is not unusual for insurance companies to deny claims of even the most deserving applicants. If you believe your workers’ comp claim has been unfairly rejected and you do not know where to turn for help, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm to discuss your options.
In many cases, we need to provide the insurance company with additional supporting documentation or evidence. However, we will be prepared to bring your case to trial should it become necessary.
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 they fall 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 crucial to seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can 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.
Reach Out to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in South Carolina for Help Today
By choosing a knowledgeable and experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation 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 for a complimentary case evaluation. You can reach us through our online contact form or phone to get started.