With the courts in Columbia and the surrounding counties essentially closed except for emergency matters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be asking yourself these questions if you injured yourself at work: Am I able to file for workers’ compensation benefits? What happens if the insurance company denies my claim? Will a Commissioner hear my case? If you think that your case will not be heard until the shutdown is over, you will be relieved to know that the South Carolina workers’ compensation system is almost fully operational.
If you were injured at work pre-pandemic or have been brave enough to work during the shutdown and were injured, and you have not advised your supervisor of your injury and that you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits because you are not able to work, do so immediately. And then contact Lee Injury Law! We are working hard every day, and Attorney Tyler Lee offers both phone and in-person consultations.
If your claim is denied by the insurance company – unfortunately, they deny many claims – we will file a claim on your behalf with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission so we can fight for the benefits which you deserve; this includes money for lost wages and payment of medical bills.
To win your case, you will need our firm to present medical evidence, which we usually do by deposition, from one of your doctors to establish that you sustained injuries at work. Some doctors are seeing patients in their offices during the pandemic; other doctors are evaluating patients by “telemedicine” visits. It may not seem feasible that a doctor could evaluate you without seeing you in the office and conducting a hands-on exam, but telemedicine visits are what many doctors are doing during this crisis. The doctor will connect with you on your phone, and you will be able to see each other.
You will tell the doctor how you injured yourself and what symptoms you are experiencing. While the doctor cannot press on your back or test your reflexes, they will be able to observe you while you are put through various tests, such as turning your head, raising your arm, or touching your toes. The doctor may order an MRI or other diagnostic tests for you, as well as physical therapy. Our firm can refer you to top doctors to treat you for your injuries, and if you feel comfortable undergoing an MRI or participating in physical therapy during this crisis, we can refer you to facilities that will provide these services.
These are stressful times for sure. But don’t worry – if you injured yourself in the course of your employment, the stay-at-home order imposed by the governor will not prevent you from pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, and will not prevent you from undergoing medical treatment. If you find yourself in this position and need help, contact a local workers’ compensation attorney near you.