Being involved in a work-related accident in North Charleston, SC, can be difficult for many reasons. On top of dealing with the physical implications of your injury, you will likely need to take time off of work, which can impact your ability to provide for yourself and your family. Fortunately, you can partner with a North Charleston personal injury lawyer who can help you get compensation from anyone responsible for your injury.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm can help you with a claim for benefits due to a workplace injury in North Charleston. We can guide you through the workers’ compensation application process and assist you if your request is denied. To learn more, please get in touch with a North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm today.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in North Charleston
Workers’ compensation refers to insurance that provides financial protection if you are injured at work. South Carolina businesses can buy workers’ compensation insurance through a commercial insurer that is licensed to operate in the state. Most businesses in South Carolina are required to have workers’ comp coverage.
With workers’ comp, you can receive money based on the severity of your injury, how long you miss work, and other factors. There is no set amount that every worker can get through workers’ comp. Rather, each workers’ compensation request is viewed as its own entity to determine if an employee is eligible for benefits.
There can be instances where you suffer a work injury through no fault of your own. At these times, you should report your injury to your employer. If you choose not to do so, you may miss out on your opportunity to get workers’ comp benefits.
What to Do If You Get Hurt at Work
It is in your best interests to report a workplace injury right away. In South Carolina, you have up to 90 days to report a work-related injury from the date that it happens and maintain your eligibility for workers’ compensation. If you decide not to report your injury, you may be solely responsible for any costs to treat your injury.
Meet with a doctor so they can evaluate your injury and provide you with an appropriate treatment. An on-the-job injury may require months or years to treat and can keep you out of work for an extended period of time. Therefore, it is essential to let a doctor assess and treat your injury so you can get the help that you need to fully recover.
It is also beneficial to consult with a North Charleston workers’ comp lawyer. You can provide an attorney with details about your injury, explain how it happened, and discuss what you can do to get workers’ comp benefits. The lawyer can provide information about the different types of workers’ compensation benefits that you can receive and help you get the right benefits based on your injury.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in North Charleston
There are several different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Once you have filled out your application for workers’ comp benefits and sent it to an insurance company for review, you can begin collecting benefits shortly after your claim has been approved. Some of the benefits you may be able to receive include:
Disability benefits are designed to compensate you for a percentage of your lost income when your injury will keep you out of work. The amount of compensation you can be awarded via disability benefits depends on the amount of compensation you earn weekly.
Most work injury victims have the right to two-thirds of their average weekly salary, and there is a maximum amount to be paid out each week to all workers’ compensation recipients regardless of an employee’s average weekly income.
Compensation for Your Medical Expenses
Every healthcare cost related to your on-the-job injury should be covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider. These costs include those related to diagnostic testing, ambulance fees, prescription medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other medical expenses. You can also get compensation for any future medical expenses that relate to your work injury.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Some employees suffer catastrophic injuries at work. A catastrophic injury may prevent you from working in the same industry moving forward. With vocational rehab benefits, your employer is required to provide you with compensation that you can use to go back to school or obtain additional job training so you can obtain gainful employment in another line of work.
Fatal work injuries are more common than many people think. Surviving family members may be entitled to disability benefits that replace a percentage of a deceased employee’s wages. The insurance company will also cover the costs of the deceased worker’s funeral expenses, burial costs, and any of their medical expenses.
How to Qualify for North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are many misconceptions surrounding who qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer in North Charleston can evaluate your case to determine if you meet South Carolina’s eligibility requirements. If you meet these requirements, but your request for benefits is denied, your attorney can help you get compensation based on your workplace injury.
Generally, it does not matter how long you have been working with your company to qualify for workers’ comp. It typically does not matter how many hours you work each week, either. As long as you sustain an injury sustained during a work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
However, there are many instances in which you may be ineligible for workers’ comp coverage. For instance, someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a work accident may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are unsure about whether you qualify for benefits or want additional information about how to file for workers’ comp in South Carolina, a workers’ compensation attorney in North Charleston can help you out.
How Much Time You Have to Request Compensation for a Work Injury
In most instances, there is a two-year time frame for workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina. This means you have up to two years from the date you suffer a workplace injury to submit a request for workers’ comp benefits. If you decide not to file a claim during this period, you cannot ask for these benefits at a later time.
If you get hurt at work, resist the urge to try to “tough it out.” Your health is a top priority, and you should not be held accountable for a workplace injury. Instead of trying to work while you are dealing with pain, tell your employer about your injury and go to a doctor to treat it.
A North Charleston workers’ comp lawyer will make sure that your claim is filed in alignment with South Carolina’s laws. They can help you submit evidence that shows that you were injured at work and deserve workers’ compensation benefits. Your attorney will advocate for you as you move through the workers’ comp claims process.
Why Employers Are Required to Protect Their Workers in North Charleston
In South Carolina, employers can purchase workers’ comp insurance coverage that protects all of their employees. Any company that has four or more employees is required to have workers’ comp insurance. This coverage extends to temporary, part-time, full-time, or temp-to-hire employees.
From the minute you start working, you should be protected by your employer’s worker’s comp insurance coverage. Any employers that fail to obtain sufficient coverage for their employees could face third-party liability lawsuits and legal sanctions. If employers are uncertain about their legal requirements, they can get answers to frequently asked questions and many others from the South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC).
At the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, we take workers’ comp claims seriously. If you suffer an on-the-job injury and are struggling to get the benefits you deserve, our North Charleston workers’ compensation attorney can assist. To get started, please reach out to us.
How to Submit a Workers’ Compensation Claim in North Charleston
Before you submit a workers’ compensation claim, notify your employer about your injury. Next, your employer has up to 10 days to notify their insurance company. You can also submit Form 50 or Form 52 to file your claim with the WCC.
You will need to complete Form 50 if you suffered an on-the-job injury. The form lets you explain the circumstances surrounding your injury. Comparatively, you must fill out Form 52 if you are filing a request for workers’ comp on behalf of a family member who died at work.
A North Charleston workers’ comp attorney can make a world of difference when you submit your claim. Your lawyer can go over the claims process with you and help you avoid mistakes along the way. Most importantly, your attorney will put you in the best position to get your request approved.
How to Check the Status of Your North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you want to check the status of your workers’ comp claim, an attorney can do so on your behalf. Your lawyer will keep you in the loop regarding the status of your claim. As soon as your claim gets approved or denied, your lawyer will let you know.
In the best-case scenario, it will be apparent to your employer and the WCC that your workers’ comp request is legitimate. This can lead to an approval. When this happens, you get the workers’ comp benefits that you originally requested.
On the other hand, there can be doubts about whether your workers’ compensation request is valid. These doubts can lead to a denial, even if your workplace injury occurred due to your employer’s negligence. By working with an attorney, you can appeal the denial of your workers’ comp benefits.
What to Do If Your North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Request Gets Denied
Work injury victims often get their requests for workers’ comp benefits denied. If your request for benefits is denied, contact a workers’ comp attorney. At this point, you can work with a lawyer who can help you file an appeal and fight for your benefits.
A workers’ comp lawyer understands that insurance companies lose money when they pay out claims to employees who suffer on-the-job injuries. They also know that insurance adjusters frequently try to reduce the amount they pay out and deny claims wherever possible. Yet, your lawyer can gather and evaluate evidence and share it with an insurance company, which may lead the business to approve your benefits request.
Of course, there can be times when an insurance company continues to deny your claim in bad faith, delays the processing of your claim, or argues that you are not entitled to benefits. In these situations, it pays to have a workers’ compensation attorney at your side who has a track record of delivering outstanding case results. This lawyer ensures that anyone responsible for your work injury is held financially responsible for it.
Evidence You Can Provide to Support Your Request for Benefits
Medical records can play an important role in your workers’ compensation case. You can share medical documents that show any treatments you received for your injury and the costs associated with them. These documents can illustrate the impact of your injury on your ability to work and your budget.
If coworkers saw an accident happen that led to your on-the-job injury, you can ask them to provide statements. A witness statement can include details about your workplace injury and how it occurred. It can further strengthen your case.
A workers’ comp attorney in North Charleston understands the challenges that come with collecting and reviewing evidence. They will work with you to ensure that you can submit compelling evidence that supports your case. If you and your attorney succeed, you should have no trouble maximizing your workers’ comp benefits.
Get Help with Your North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you find yourself facing a workers’ compensation benefits denial and are unsure of where to turn for help, the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is here for you. Our North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer will make sure that your legal rights are protected throughout the workers’ comp process. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.