According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 2.9 million workers are injured on the job each year; there are also almost 4,700 work-related fatalities. South Carolina employees are injured every day on the job; a workplace injury could be anything from a simple cut or sprain to a life-threatening fall from a ladder.
Some of the most common types of work-related injuries are detailed below:
- Falls from roofs, ladders or scaffolding
- Sprains, strains and overexertion injuries from hauling heavy items
- Falling objects and debris
- Slips and falls on wet or soiled floor
- Repetitive use injuries, including carpal tunnel
- Exposure to noise, leading to hearing loss
- Exposure to chemical hazards and injuries from machinery or tools
- Motor vehicle accidents
If you are injured on the job in any way, then you are likely protected by South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation laws. This coverage is designed to protect both your health and finances after an injury and will pay for both short- and long-term needs, including:
- Medical care needed for your injury
- Missed wages when you are out due to your injury or for treatment
- Long-term recovery needs (physical therapy, surgery, etc)
- Transportation expenses for medical needs and appointments
- Permanent disability
- Compensation for permanent impairment, loss of limbs or disfigurement
- Death benefits for your loved ones
How to File for Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina
If you are injured on the job, you must get immediate medical attention; some injuries will become worse if you delay. Your injury needs to be reported to your employer; if you are able, this can be done after your injury, if not, get medical treatment first, then report the accident to your supervisor or HR department. While you legally have up to 90 days to report the incident, you should do so as swiftly as possible to begin the process.
What Injuries Are Considered Job Related?
To qualify for Workers’ Compensation, you need to have been injured on the job or while doing work for your employer. If you are in a company-owned vehicle, making sales calls, or visiting a job site, an injury is still covered by Workers’ Compensation if you are performing your normal job.
Can Workers’ Compensation Claims be Denied?
Every month, hundreds of injured South Carolina workers are denied benefits or offered fewer benefits than they are legally entitled to. Most of these denials are related to mistakes when filing paperwork or making a claim. You can prevent this by reporting your injury to your employer as soon as possible, documenting your injury by visiting a doctor right away, and reporting important information about your accident on the claims forms. A Workers’ Compensation attorney can help you get things right from the start and help prevent delays or denials.
What to do If Your Claim Is Denied
Denials can and do happen, and they are incredibly stressful. While this delay is upsetting, you can appeal the decision. You should receive an official reason for your denial, often a dispute over the location of the injury or its severity. You should bring your denial letter and any other documentation you have to a Workers’ Compensation lawyer for help with your appeal. Appeals can be won, but the process is complex and you need the guidance of a professional to ensure you are fairly compensated.
The appeals process includes a hearing to discuss your case and is reviewed by Workers’ Compensation commissioners. Your attorney can help walk you through the process and represent you in court. Your eventual approval depends on being able to present your case in court, so having an attorney by your side is a huge advantage.
Get Help With Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina
Workers’ Compensation is a complex process and claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. If your claim has been denied or you’ve received an amount that does not cover the extent of your injuries, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your case and discover what we can do for you. Both your health and financial well-being are at stake, so take swift action after a workplace injury for best results.