What is Worker’s Compensation?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “workers’ compensation systems were established to provide partial medical care and income protection to employees who are injured or become ill from their job.” With these systems in place, employers are also encouraged to help ensure their workplace is safe and free of potential hazards to the employees.
Standard operating procedures, drills, regular maintenance, safety protocols, and regular meetings are ways employers may enforce or regulate safety in the workplace.
Why Is It Important To Tell My Employer Right Away Of an Injury?
It may be confusing to determine whether or not you need to alert your employer of an injury or action at work that caused an illness. As a safety measure, you can make it a habit to report anything of concern so there is awareness should something develop later. The reason for this is that there is also a timeline that you are on when hurt at work to be eligible for benefits.
Typically, you have ninety days to report the incident. If you fail to report the incident promptly, you may be declined for coverage or unable to pursue the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Your employer, upper management, or supervisor can advise you of the next steps. The following steps are likely filling out required paperwork and seeking medical attention when needed.
What Benefits Am I Entitled To?
Due to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, created in 1935, employees can ensure that if they are hurt on the job, they can typically seek damages. The act also provides added assurance that employers can streamline injury or illness issues rather than face potential litigation each time a problem arises, making a timely and costly inconvenience when operating a business for both the employer and the employees.
The benefits you may be entitled to receive include lost wages, medical benefits, and permanent disability. The amount you qualify for will vary for each person as it is calculated based on hours worked, your current salary or wage, your ability to continue working after the injury, and the extent of the injury itself.
What If My Employer Denies My Claim?
Though it is unfair, employers or workers’ compensation insurers sometimes deny even valid claims, knowing that the employee will probably choose not to pursue the claim any further and avoid the hassle. If you feel that you have a valid claim and it is being denied, consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to pursue the claim further and obtain the compensation you deserve.
My Employer Is Treating Me Differently After My Workers’ Comp Claim
Some employers will be angry that a claim was filed in the first place and choose to take it out on the employee that filed it. If you are experiencing evident discrimination, harassment, or other negative behaviors, document them immediately and seek the assistance of a lawyer.
Some other common actions employers may take are reducing your hours or pay significantly after a workers’ comp claim, denying you a valid raise or bonuses, and more. If you are experiencing this behavior, document everything and consult a lawyer.
How Can A Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Me?
Negotiations aren’t something that most of us deal with on a day-to-day basis. Unless you are an experienced attorney, that is. This lack of negotiation knowledge or experience is what insurance companies rely on when offering you much less than you deserve for your claim. Suppose you feel that your settlement is far less than what you deserve. In that case, you can rely on an experienced attorney to become a trellis advocate and re-negotiate your settlement or pursue other legal options to help you obtain more compensation.
Another critical factor is that an attorney is well-versed in legal matters and can ensure that the proper forms are filled out promptly for your case. As mentioned above, even a valid claim could be rejected if you don’t complete the paperwork promptly and miss your deadline.
They can help you gather all relevant evidence, such as the bills you have incurred, details regarding the accident, and actions from your employer or others on the incident scene. Were there extenuating circumstances related to the accident?
For example, was an outside party’s negligence a factor in your accident or injury? In some cases, a third party may be involved, such as a negligent driver while you are in a company vehicle or a heavy equipment operator on a job site that caused significant injury, and you may benefit largely by pursuing them personally in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Skilled attorneys can help you determine if this is an option for you and then help you to follow it.
Don’t face a serious work injury alone. Call our office at (803) 855-1012 to schedule your free consultation with our team. We have decades of experience and a passion for helping our clients seek what they deserve, not just what insurance companies or employers are willing to settle for. Don’t take anything less than you deserve. Call us today to get started.