Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Columbia, SC
Pursuing Benefits Following an On-the-Job Accident
In South Carolina, employers with four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance covers the costs of medical care and other expenses or losses arising when an employee is injured on the job. The amount received depends on the situation but is typically a portion of the individual’s average weekly wages for a certain amount of time unless the person is permanently disabled.
Were You Hurt on the Job?
If you were hurt during the course of your employment, you must immediately report the incident to your employer to be eligible for benefits. Additionally, you must file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission within the required period. If your employer denies your claim or awards you less than you are entitled to, you can request a hearing to have the commission issue a ruling.
How Our Columbia Workers' Compensation Attorneys Can Help
Woron and Dhillon, LLC is a personal injury law firm prepared to help employees hurt while performing their duties seek a just benefit amount. Our Columbia workers’ compensation attorneys can review the facts of your accident, medical records, and other pertinent information to build your case and present your arguments at a hearing if necessary.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
When an employee is hurt in an on-the-job accident, their injuries may cause them to miss work or return to work in a limited capacity. They may also need medical care to treat and cure the injury. Workers’ compensation provides financial benefits to injured employees to supplement income lost because of their disability and pay for medical expenses.
Injuries covered under workers’ compensation include those occurring from a one-time accident. For instance, suppose you fell at work and broke your leg. The incident may entitle you to benefits.
Workers’ compensation also covers repetitive stress injuries. These are injuries that developed over time. An example would be carpal tunnel, which can arise from continual movement and flexing of the wrist.
An employee’s dependents may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the injury was fatal.
To be entitled to seek workers’ compensation, you must be an employee of the company.
South Carolina law defines an employee as someone who has a contract for hire with an employer. The contract can be express or implied, written or oral.
You might be excluded from receiving benefits if your injury occurred because you were intoxicated on the job or you intentionally caused the accident. You may also be ineligible if you are offered a suitable position different from the one held pre-injury, but you refuse it.
How Do You Request Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The process for seeking workers’ compensation benefits begins soon after you are injured.
- You must report the incident to a supervisor immediately and no later than 90 days after it occurred. Failing to provide timely notification can affect your eligibility.
- In addition to notifying your employer, you must file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. You must take this action within 2 years of being injured.
- After you report your injury, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will review it to determine whether you should receive benefits and for what amount.
- Unfortunately, the insurance company might not see eye-to-eye with you. Therefore, it might offer an award lower than what you believe is necessary or deny your claim altogether.
If you do not feel that you are getting fair compensation or that your case should have been denied, you can request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. At the hearing, you and your employers’ insurance carrier will present your cases about why benefits should or should not be awarded. A member of the commission will hear both sides and make a ruling.
Because the hearing’s outcome determines whether you receive the funds you need to pay for medical treatment and take the time you need to heal, it is important that you present a strong case.
You will want to include evidence such as:
- Testimony from a medical expert,
- Documentation of the incident, and
- Medical records.
If the commission denies your claim or awards an unfavorable amount, you can challenge the decision. Your appeal must be made within 14 days of being notified of the ruling.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Columbia can provide guidance through each stage of your case.
You may be entitled to receive weekly workers’ compensation benefits if your injury causes you to be absent from work for 7 days or more. The amount you receive depends on several factors, including your average weekly wages, the severity of your injury, and your ability to work.
Below are the benefits that can be awarded:
- Total disability. You may receive these benefits if you are completely unable to work. A person is considered totally disabled if they lost “both hands, arms, shoulders, feet, legs, hips, or vision in both eyes” (South Carolina Code of Laws § 42-9-10(B)). The payment amount is two-thirds of your average weekly benefits and can continue for the rest of your life.
- Partial disability. You may receive these benefits if a doctor releases you back to work in a limited capacity. The benefit amount is two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly rate before your injury and your average weekly rate after your injury. The payment period lasts until you are released back to work without conditions, with a maximum of 500 weeks.
- Death. Your dependents may receive benefits equal to two-thirds of your average weekly rate for 500 weeks. They may also be awarded compensation for burial expenses of up to $12,000.
Get the Legal Help You Need
Recovering compensation following an on-the-job injury ensures that you can receive necessary care and provide for yourself while you are out of work. Because claims are sometimes denied or award amounts too low, it’s essential to have a lawyer help you through the process and assist in pursuing just benefits.
“I highly recommend Brett Woron. He goes above and beyond for his clients. If you are seeking an attorney, he is the one.” - Philip T.
“Best Experience I’ve had with a lawyer! He was very professional and cares about his clients. I highly recommend him to my family and friends. If you are looking for representation, he’s your man!” - Chelsea B.
“Brett Woron is a very amazing attorney. I wouldn't choose anyone else. He truly made us feel like he was on our side, the entire time. Thank you Brett for making this process as easy as possible.” - Kimberly R.