South Carolina Workers' Compensation Process
Workers’ compensation is a type of mandatory insurance that most employers in South Carolina must carry. The no-fault insurance program provides medical benefits and wage replacement if a worker is injured on the job.
Step 1: Tell Your Employer or Supervisor Immediately About Your Injury
The first thing that you must do following a workplace accident is to provide your employer with notice of your injury. You must report the injury within 90 days. Your employer has 10 days to report the injury to the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Step 2: Get Medical Attention
Seek medical attention for your workplace injury immediately. Except in emergency cases, your employer has the right to choose a medical provider for you. Make sure that the doctor knows that the injury happened at work.
Step 3: Fill Out Insurance Paperwork
Your employer should provide you with forms to complete for them to submit to the appropriate insurance carrier.
Step 4: Report the Injury to the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission
You will file a Form 50 — Employer Notice of Claim and/or Request for Hearing. Family members of a deceased worker can request death benefits by completing a Form 52 — Employees Notice of Claim and/or Request for Hearing, Death Case. You only have 2 years to notify the commission, so it’s crucial to act quickly to preserve your rights to compensation.
Step 5: Follow All Doctor’s Orders
After you receive initial medical treatment, it is critical that you follow all of your doctor’s orders. Failure to do so could worsen your condition or prevent you from attaining maximum medical improvement, which means you may be denied your full compensation award.
Step 6: Save All Receipts, Bills and Paperwork Related to Your Medical Treatment
Workers’ compensation law allows you to recover compensation for all medical expenses related to your work injury. Keep all documents from your medical treatment to ensure that you are fully compensated.
Step 7: Lost Wage Compensation
In some cases, workers who are injured on the job may be entitled to lost wage compensation. Lost wage compensation does not begin until the worker has missed work for a minimum of 7 days. Workers can recoup that week’s wages if their injury prevents them from working for 14 days or more.
Step 8: If Your Initial Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied
If your initial claim is denied, immediately consult with one of our experienced worker compensation attorneys to develop a legal strategy to contest the denial.
Step 9: Determining Permanent Partial or Total Disability
Your workers’ compensation benefits award will be based, in part, on whether the injury is partial or total. If there is a dispute about your condition, you have the right to ask if the workers’ compensation insurer will allow you to see another provider for a second opinion.
Step 10: Negotiating Workers’ Comp Settlements
Toward the end of the workers’ compensation process, your attorney will prepare a settlement demand that fully accounts for the extent of your injuries.
How a S.C. Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Throughout the Process
Far too often, insurance adjusters try to pressure injured workers into making recorded statements about their injuries. This is not a requirement, just a tactic to justify lowball settlement offers. An experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer will protect your rights by handling all communications with insurance companies to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Call Our S.C. Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Today
At Stewart Law Offices, we know that workers’ compensation claims can be complex and confusing. Our attorneys can simplify the process by handling every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on your recovery and getting healthy again.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our lawyers, please contact us today.