Workers’ compensation insurance lets you recover benefits in the wake of a work-related injury or illness. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation, with a few and rare exceptions. So it is very likely that if you have suffered an injury at work, you may be able to get workers’ comp benefits. However, South Carolina laws stipulate a number of requirements when filing a claim. Here’s a look at these requirements and the general steps you should take when filing a workers’ comp claim in South Carolina.
Notifying Your Employer
The first thing you should do after seeking medical treatment is to notify your employer about the injury. Employers with four or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in South Carolina. If your employer meets this requirement, you should get a suitable compensation for your injury.
It is always a good idea to notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible. The general requirement is to report the injury within 90 days. However, if you were physically or mentally incapable of reporting within this period, you can report it once you are able. You may also report an injury later if the injury was not clear or came about due to the fraudulent conduct of another party.
Filing With SC Workers’ Compensation Commission
Once you notify your employer, the employer will likely make a decision as to whether or not your claim is valid. The employer will file your claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission if your claim appears valid. However, if the employer denies your claim, it may not be filed with the Commission. Alternatively, the employer may think that your claim is not accurate and offer a much reduces amount of benefits.
This is when you can file the claim with the Commission on your own. You can do this by filling out South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission Form 50. On this form, you are required to provide details of the accident such as the date of the injury, the outcome of the accident, the nature of your injuries and so on. If you have lost a loved one to a work-related accident, you will need to file the Form 52 instead.
It is advised that when you decide to file with the Commission, you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Greenwood, SC.
The Statute of Limitations for a Workers’ Comp Claim in South Carolina
South Carolina has a statute of limitations of two years for work-related injuries. This means that you must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the accident. If you file the claim after the statute has expired, you may receive no benefits and your workers’ comp claim in South Carolina will be denied.
However, some exceptions exist to this. If you have developed an occupational disease, for instance, there’s no definite date on which the disease could have begun. In this case, the statute will be determined from the date of your diagnosis of the disease.
Similarly, repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome also develop gradually. In this case, the statue is determined from the date you discovered or could have reasonably discovered that your injury was covered by workers’ comp benefits.
In any case, it is best to file for a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina as soon as possible. A claim can take a long time to reach any conclusion. Filing one early has a better chance of resulting in compensation that you can use for your immediate medical and financial needs.
Requesting a Hearing
Once you file a workers’ compensation claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, it may be disputed by the insurer or employer. In such a case, you can request a hearing before the Commission. In this hearing, you are able to put forth your claim more clearly. The hearing is also an opportunity for you to share any evidence or testimony relating to your injury.
Why Hire A Greenwood, SC Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you may face opposition from the employer or insurer. You claim may be denied, objections may be raised about the facts of the case, and you may be offered a much-reduced amount of benefits. This is where a qualified attorney can really help. An attorney will help you file a strong claim, backed with suitable evidence. He or she will also effectively counter any arguments or objections put forth by the insurer or employer.
Finding a Lawyer to Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim in South Carolina
When you are looking for a workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenwood, SC, it is important to choose the right law firm. Here at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C., we specialize in handling workers’ compensation cases. Our attorneys are experts in the workers’ comp laws in South Carolina and have helped countless victims of work injuries recover a fair compensation. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, don’t wait. Call us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys and get expert legal advice.