How do workers’ compensation claims work in SC?
If you’ve been injured on the job, you likely are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, partial compensation for your lost wages, and permanent disability benefits if you suffered a permanent injury.
But what is the process for filing a claim and getting paid?
Below, we will discuss how workers’ compensation claims work in SC, including:
- How to file a workers’ compensation claim,
- What to do when your workers’ comp claim is denied,
- What it means to “win” your workers’ comp claim, and
- How to improve your chances of winning.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in SC
How do you file a workers’ compensation claim in SC?
You should immediately report any on-the-job injury to your employer, and, in most cases, your employer should help you to file your claim. If they don’t, however, you may need to file it yourself and request a hearing. A lawyer can assist you with this.
There are specific forms that must be filled out and submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, including:
- A Form 50 Notice of Claim and Request for Hearing for on-the-job injuries that do not result in death, or
- A Form 52 Notice of Claim and Request for Hearing in death cases for the work-related death of a family member.
Denial of Workers’ Comp Claims in SC: Workers’ Compensation Appeals
What happens when your workers’ compensation claim is denied?
When your employer or their insurance company denies your workers’ comp claim (or if they refuse to file the claim), you must file a Form 50 (for on-the-job injuries) or a Form 52 (for on-the-job death) and request a hearing.
You will need to gather your medical evidence to support your claim and present your evidence to a workers’ compensation commissioner at the hearing. You may also be required to attend a deposition and participate in mediation before the hearing is convened.
The workers’ compensation commissioner can approve your request for benefits based on the medical evidence you present or they can deny your claim.
Your attorney will understand the procedures used at workers’ compensation hearings, as well as the Rules of Evidence, the SC workers’ compensation regulations, and the insurance company defenses to your claim. He or she will find the most persuasive way to present your evidence to the workers’ compensation commission.
If your claim is still denied at the workers’ compensation hearing, you can:
- Appeal the decision to a full panel of commissioners using a Form 30 Request for Commission Review,
- Appeal to the SC Court of Appeals if the full panel denies your claim, and
- Petition the SC Supreme Court to hear your appeal if the Court of Appeals denies your claim.
“Winning” Your SC Workers’ Compensation Claim
Our goal in every workers’ compensation claim is to win your case – but what does that mean?
“Winning” in each case depends on our client’s goals. For our client, it usually means being able to provide for yourself and your family and being able to go back to work.
For your workers’ compensation attorney, it means getting the appropriate medical attention and the maximum compensation available to you under SC law. This is determined by your ability to work, the medical expenses you’ve incurred–or will incur in the future–your impairment rating, and your disability rating once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement.
What Are Your Goals?
For most people, the goal of filing a workers’ compensation claim is to be able to get back on your feet – or to recover the maximum compensation available if you are permanently disabled.
Depending on your circumstances, maximum compensation may include:
- Your medical costs and future medical costs for long-term injuries (“Dodge” medicals),
- 66 2/3 % of your average weekly wage for the time you are unable to work,
- Benefits for the maximum time permitted based on the type of permanent disability suffered, or
- The maximum final settlement possible based on your impairment and disability ratings once you have reached maximum medical improvement.
How to Improve Your Chance of Winning Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
How can you improve your chance of winning your workers’ compensation claim and receiving the maximum benefits that you are entitled to under SC law?
First, retain a SC workers’ compensation attorney who knows SC workers’ compensation law and who cares about you, cares about your case, and cares about getting the maximum compensation possible for you.
You can also:
- Gather evidence at the time of your on-the-job accident including contact information for witnesses, photos or video of the area where the injury happened, and any tools or equipment that was involved,
- Report your injury to your employer immediately,
- Follow up to ensure your employer filed your workers’ comp claim,
- Get any necessary medical attention, go to all doctor’s appointments, and follow up on all doctors’ recommendations,
- Talk to your doctors about how your injuries affect both your ability to work and your personal life, and
- Get a second opinion from an independent doctor when necessary.
Ensure that your medical evidence is complete, and present your medical evidence to the commissioner. If your claim is denied, file your appeals as soon as possible – if you miss the deadlines for filing appeals, you may lose your right to benefits.
Questions About How Workers’ Compensation Claims Work in SC?
If you need legal help filing for social security disability, workers’ compensation, or a personal injury claim in SC or NC, call the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A. at 803-369-3968 or contact us through our website for a free consultation.
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