Our Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
Why was I denied? How do I appeal a denial? We answer questions like these and many more in our workers’ compensation frequently asked questions. Every case is unique, so if your question is not answered here, contact our office for help. We offer free consultations to discuss your case.
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I am unable to work after suffering an injury at work. Can I obtain compensation for my injuries?
Under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries you suffered at work due to your employer’s, a co-worker’s, or even your own negligence. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in our state, which means that you could receive benefits regardless of the cause of your accident. Here, we explain the types of workers’ compensation benefits that you may receive.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina
Although workers’ compensation is not based on fault, this does not mean that your employer’s insurance company will voluntarily pay you the benefits that you are entitled to. It is important to understand the types of benefits that you can receive to protect your rights and receive what you are owed.
Types of benefits you may deserve include:
- Medical care. Your employer or its insurance company must pay for all necessary medical care for your injuries, such as surgery, doctor visits, physical therapy, and prescriptions. However, your employer has the right to pick the doctor that treats you, and you would not be entitled to medical benefits if you did not use this doctor.
- Temporary disability benefits. If you must take off work for more than seven days, you could be entitled to temporary disability benefits. This is a weekly payment that reimburses you for two-thirds of your wages up to a maximum amount set each January. The maximum weekly benefit in 2018 is $838.21, and you can find this information on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission website.
- Permanent total disability benefits. If you suffer a permanent total disability, you may be entitled to additional total disability benefits of two-thirds of your wages. Generally, you would be entitled to this for a maximum of 500 weeks. In addition, you only would be entitled to this if you suffered a narrowly defined list of serious injuries, like loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or a combination of two of these losses.
- Partial total disability benefits. If you suffered a partial permanent impairment, you may also receive additional weekly benefits up to a set maximum number of weeks. The benefits can be a scheduled award, which is a list of certain disability with a set benefit amount, unscheduled award, which is a disability not on the scheduled list, or for disfigurement.
- Travel expenses. You may be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses to receive needed medical care.
- Vocational rehabilitation. If you are unable to return to your former job due to your injuries, you may be able to receive vocational rehabilitation services to help you identify a new career and help you find a new job.
- Death benefits. If a loved one died in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to death benefits if you were his spouse, children, or another dependent.
- Funeral expenses. A family can receive up to $2,500 to pay for funeral and burial expenses for a worker killed in an accident.
At Hite & Stone, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping our injured clients fight for the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserved. We are a family-oriented law firm that believes in fighting hard for our clients’ rights no matter how serious their injury was. To learn how we can help you, call our office to schedule your free consultation today.
How do I file a workers’ compensation claim?
When you suffer an injury in a workplace accident or develop an illness due to your job, you may be entitled to benefits under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. The workers' compensation program is a no-fault system which would pay you benefits regardless of who was at fault for causing your accident. However, you must follow the state’s laws on how and when to file a claim. It can feel overwhelming to figure out what you must do when you are in pain and coping with your injuries. Here, we explain the basics of how to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Reporting Your Injury Is the First Step in Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Your first concern should be obtaining the immediate medical care that you need for your injuries. Your next step should be to notify your employer of your injury or occupational illness. Under South Carolina law, you are required to report this to your employer within 90 days of your injury or development of an illness. However, it would be best to notify your employer as soon as possible after your accident. While it is acceptable to tell your employer orally, you should also notify your employer in writing and keep a copy of the notice for your records.
If you fail to inform your employer of your injury within this 90-day time period, you could waive your right to benefits. However, there may be exceptions to this deadline, so it is best to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on whether you can still report your injury.
How Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Filed
Your employer is required to file your workers’ compensation claim within 10 days of the date that you inform them of your injury or illness. You may need to file your own claim in these situations:
- Your employer fails to file your claim within 10 days.
- Your employer denies responsibility for paying your workers’ comp benefits.
- You do not believe that you are receiving the benefits that you deserve.
You must file your claim within two years of your workplace accident or two years of the diagnosis of a work-related illness. However, like with reporting your accident, you strengthen your claim by filing your claim as soon as possible if this is necessary. You would do so by filing a Form 50 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Do you need to file a workers’ comp claim in South Carolina? Let our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys take over the burden of filing your claim and negotiating your settlement so that you receive what you are entitled to. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation today.