When you are hurt at work or if you become ill due to conditions in your workplace, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This financial compensation can pay for medical treatment related to your injuries and provide partial wage replacement while you are unable to work.
Fault is not a factor in workers’ compensation cases. The process of receiving these benefits is not always simple, however. That’s why it is important that you turn to the attorneys at Stewart Law Offices in Beaufort to get help with your workers’ comp claim.
Since attorney Brent P. Stewart founded the firm in 1995, we’ve battled through red tape, bureaucracy and tough insurers to help injured employees like you pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Armed with attorneys knowledgeable about South Carolina employment law, we’re ready to work hard to seek the benefits that you and your family need.
Need immediate help with your claim? Call our firm today or contact us online for a free consultation.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Many insurance companies and employers are willing to use whatever scare tactics are necessary to downplay your condition or deny your claim outright. Employers provide workers’ compensation insurance in accordance with South Carolina law, so why are they denying your claim?
Employers and insurance companies have one thing in common: they are often more worried about their bottom line than paying you the money you deserve. While representatives from your employer and their insurer may initially be responsive and show concern about your health and wellbeing, they will likely be looking for any reason to deny your claim or pay you less than what you are truly owed.
With an attorney from Stewart Law Offices, LLC handling your claim, you’ll have legal representation from a professional who knows the tactics employers and insurance adjusters often use to deny your claim, and knows how to prove your injury and pursue appropriate benefits.
Another issue with injured workers fighting without legal help involves the benefits they receive. If your claim is approved, there’s a chance you won’t receive the full benefits you’re entitled to receive. It’s happened before and could happen again.
Our firm’s goal is to seek payments to injured workers at the maximum amount allowed under state law. We know that you and your family need these benefits to pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation, and you need that financial support as you try to get back on your feet. Don’t let a workplace injury keep you sidelined and suffering additional stress and strain. Turn to us for help.
Tips for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits Successfully
South Carolina has a no-fault workers’ compensation system in place. This means workers’ compensation benefits are payable regardless of who caused the worker’s injury. However, there’s a process that still must be followed to ensure claims are paid out.
Here are some tips to prevent your claim from being jeopardized:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Do this both for your health, and your claim. Even if injuries aren’t immediately apparent, taking this step shows you’re serious about staying healthy.
- Report any injury to a supervisor or HR. Employees are given 90 days to report the incident to their employer. If that deadline is missed, your claim may be denied unless extenuating circumstances prevented timely reporting of your injury.
- Take down witness names. The more people willing to corroborate your injury, the better chance your claim has of being immediately approved. Even if you believe the witness may be uncooperative, still jot their name down.
- Make sure proper forms are filled out. South Carolina workers can find fillable PDF forms on the Workers’ Compensation Commission site, located here.
- Call Stewart Law Offices LLC. Many people find these forms intimidating. But we have the experience to understand the entire process, and we’re ready to assist in obtaining, completing, and submitting the right forms, at the right time, to the right state agencies.
- Avoid sharing information, especially on social media platforms. Anything you say can be used to deny your claim. Keep the details off social media, and never share information with those with no interest in your case.
If the workers’ compensation claim is approved, injured workers are entitled to the following benefits:
- Vocational rehabilitation if injuries prevent you from returning to your previous occupation
- Medical benefits from a professional of your employer’s choosing (except emergencies)
- 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay up to the state-imposed limit of 100% of the state’s average weekly pay
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Beaufort
- Give your employer immediate notice of injury. Avoid delays if possible. Only exceptional circumstances allow injured workers to report their injury beyond the 90-day window.
- Be mindful of deadlines. After reporting your injury, you’re given two years to file for workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina.
- Do NOT file your claim with South Carolina’s WCC. This is your employer’s responsibility.
- File your own claim if the employer forgets or the benefits aren’t what you think they’re supposed to be.
- Use Form 50 for workers’ compensation or Form 52 if the worker died and the family is filing on their behalf.
- If your claim is denied or the employer wishes to contest your claim, the WCC allows injured workers to request a hearing.
There’s a mandatory seven-day waiting period in South Carolina, with a 14-day retroactive period for benefits.
Because the entire process is confusing and may be intimidating to some, consider retaining the Beaufort workers’ compensation lawyers at Stewart Law Offices before requesting a hearing.
Appealing a Decision of the Commissioner
Not all decisions are fair or favorable for injured workers. But by law, you are given the opportunity to appeal the decision of the acting WCC commissioner. If a single commissioner denies your claim, you can appeal and have your case heard by the full commission.
Should the full commission deny your workers’ compensation claim, you may appeal to the South Carolina Court of Appeals within 30 days of receiving their final answer by mail.
If the Court of Appeals upholds the commissioner’s decision, you can then appeal with the South Carolina Supreme Court, which accepts only the few cases the court wants to hear. Getting counsel early on may avoid the necessity of appeals, which may result in lengthy delays, even when successful.
How Our Law Firm Can Help After a Beaufort Workplace Accident
Since our firm was formed, we’ve put the needs of injured workers first. Throughout South Carolina, our commitment to helping injured employees get their claims paid is surpassed only by our desire to see employees succeed.
Want to learn how Stewart Law Offices, LLC can help injured workers after they’ve endured a workplace accident? At our firm, we:
- Fight workers’ comp adjusters, who are known to force injured people back to work before they’ve healed;
- May help avoid multiple appeals or delays by having your paperwork completed correctly with all relevant information;
- Seek the full amount of benefits owed under state law;
- Fight to continue your benefits until you’re able to return to work with a clean bill of health;
- Offer free initial consultations to injured workers, an exceptional value in itself.
We’ll pursue your benefits while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Without an attorney, your claim may be delayed or even denied because of failures to follow strict timelines and procedures. Many claimants elect to retain our firm merely because they cannot file claims alone, or do not wish to risk delay and denial while they figure out the complicated process.
We’re Ready to Start Fighting for You Today
The Beaufort workers’ compensation lawyers of Stewart Law Offices have helped thousands of South Carolina workers over the years. We’re ready to put our experience and skills to work for you. You deserve attentive and thorough representation, which our firm will extend to you.
If you need assistance with forms, appeals, or want Stewart Law Offices, LLC to handle your claim from start to finish, time is essential in filing all paperwork. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and information about your legal rights. We can be reached by phone, through our contact form, or by chatting with us live on our site.