What Should I Know About South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims?

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A workplace injury can be extreme and life altering. Adequate workers’ compensation benefits should be available through South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. However, there are many cases where that is not the case. If you have been injured due to a South Carolina workplace accident, you may want to retain the help of a competent workers’ compensation lawyer. At Dan Pruitt law firm, our Greenville workers’ compensation attorneys are here to fight for your rights, and to ensure that you get the benefits needed to deal with your injury expenses and lost wages. Our legal team provides support, resources, and advocacy for injured South Carolina workers. We handle all types of workers’ compensation claims and cases. If you have recently suffered a workplace injury it is important to follow a few steps to make sure you are meeting all legal deadlines.  

Greenville South Carolina workers' compensation injury attorney
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When Should I Give My Greenville Lawyer Notice About My Workplace Injuries?

If you have been hurt due to a workplace accident, you should report the injury to a manager or supervisor as quick as possible. Timing can be critical when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim. Many denials that are due to missing the correct deadlines many times would have been legitimate workers’ compensation claims. Also if you delay the reporting of your injury the lag time before you are able to see a physician could cause issues with your claim. For instance, certain symptoms go untreated, and therefore give the employer a chance to dispute the claim, possibly even denying that the injury happened at work.

In South Carolina, the law states that injured employees must give notice to their employer as soon as possible following an accident. The Workers’ Compensation Act gives employees up to ninety days to report their accident.  This ninety day period can be extended in cases where the employee has sustained debilitating injuries and are not able to speak with their employer. There are some cases, especially those dealing with repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, where the ninety day time window does not begin until the date the employee notices their injury. So for example, if you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, the date when the ninety day clock would start would be the day you were diagnosed.

There are some jobs that involve employees being exposed to hazardous conditions or materials that can have very serious effects on an employee’s health. These effects are known as occupational diseases, and they leave employees extremely ill and unable to continue working. Occupational diseases develop over time. As part of an employee’s job they may consistently come into contact with toxic, or hazardous chemicals. If you have developed an occupational disease that is due to your employment, you are eligible for South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits. The ninety day time period would not begin for occupational diseases until their diagnosis date. It can be very difficult to prove these type of cases and hiring a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer could be crucial to your chance at recovering benefits. Let our attorneys at Dan Pruitt law firm guide you through this complex legal process.

What Should I Do After I Report the Accident to My Greenville Employer?

Once you have reported your workplace accident to your employer, usually you will then be sent to visit a doctor selected by your employer or their insurance carrier. The laws in South Carolina state that the employer has the right to choose the physician for their injured employees. You will need to cooperate and follow all instructions given by the doctor and your employer. However, it is your right to seek a second medical opinion, and you can also get a medical examination from a doctor of your choosing. Our staff can help you decide on the doctor to see for your personal medical examination. Keep in mind, if you fail to comply with your employer’s and their physician’s instructions it could lead to a denied claim.   

After you have seen a physician, your next step should be to hire an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. It is your attorney’s job to gather all the details of your case, and evaluate both the extent of your injuries and the potential value of your specific case. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to advise you through all the steps that need to be taken through this legal process to put your case in the best position possible. The attorneys at Dan Pruitt law can help you determine your recovery potential and the strength of your case.

Will My Employer Report My Workers’ Compensation Claim to the SC Commission?

Sometimes, the employer will report the employee’s injury to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, there are many times where the employer will deny the claim and try to ignore the issue. If this is the case, you and your attorney will need to file the claim. In order to file a workers’ compensation claim, your attorney will submit a Form 50. The process of filing a claim and going through the workers’ compensation legal process can be too difficult to handle alone. As a result, relying on a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can really help ease your mind. You already have your personal recovery to worry about, so having an attorney to represent you can bring on a sense of relief. Keep in mind that South Carolina’s deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of the accident. Just as with the reporting process, some time limits are different for repetitive stress injuries and occupational diseases.

Rely on a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Fight for Your Rights

It is important to remember that many times legitimate claims get denied by employers and their insurance carriers. If you have a denied claim, you still have the right to an appeal. In South Carolina, there can be many different stages of the appeals process. Our talented workers’ compensation lawyers will gladly answer any questions regarding your denied claim. The legal staff at Dan Pruitt law firm, will also offer sound advice when making important legal decisions including if whether an appeal is the right move.

You may be wondering if your employer can punish you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The answer is no. Your employer is never allowed to fire or reprimand a worker for filing a claim, unless the injury was not work related. The protection against retaliation is also there to cover any fellow employees that may be call to testify in your case. The law also states that an employer is not allowed to fire or punish an employee because of their testimony.  

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