WHY DO I NEED A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY IF I’M INJURED ON THE JOB?
Being injured on the job or developing a serious illness as a result of your occupation can be an extremely stressful experience that comes with physical and financial worries. A skilled South Carolina Workers’ Compensation lawyer can fight to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.
UNDERSTANDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
South Carolina requires most companies which employ more than four full-time or part-time employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This was designed as a safeguard to protect both the employer and the employee in the event of a worker becoming injured or developing an illness due to their job.
In South Carolina, typical workers’ compensation benefits include payment of medical expenses, disability compensation, two-thirds of your weekly wages to be paid while you are unable to work, reimbursement for prescription medication and medical mileage, and monetary awards for disfigurement and permanent injury.
Every case is different, but some types of on-the-job injuries include slip and fall accidents, fractures, joint injuries, brain injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations are also compensable if they arise in the course and scope of your employment.
Workers’ compensation also covers repetitive and long-term conditions which have been caused by a person’s job. This could include back problems, asthma, lung disease, or any number of other conditions related to your specific job tasks.
Many people feel that making a workers’ compensation claim is a sign of betrayal against their employer, but this simply isn’t the case. You are entitled by law to receive compensation for your injury or illness, and the system is in place for a reason. It is also important to note that you aren’t actually suing your employer when you file a claim; you are instead filing a claim with your employer’s insurance company.
Some employees also fear that filing a claim might cause them to lose their job. This is illegal, and a qualified South Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorney will make sure that your employer and the insurance company abide by the law throughout the entire process.
If you’ve been injured on the job or become ill due to your occupation, you must report your injury to your supervisor within 90 days. You should also call an experienced lawyer who can determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are eligible and your injury occurred within the past two years, your attorney will file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Once this is done, your attorney will come up with a clear strategy in order to make sure you receive the compensation you are rightfully owed.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND
Although it is possible to represent yourself in a workers’ compensation case, doing so is not advised. Without a lawyer, you will be forced to negotiate directly with the insurance company on your own. It is not sensible to sign papers, agree to their terms, or settle a case without fully understanding the system and what you are entitled to.
It is important to remember that you cannot rely on the insurance company to make you aware of everything you are eligible for. They are not on your side, so it’s important to hire someone who will be.
A qualified lawyer with knowledge of South Carolina law can maximize the value of your case and go up against the insurance company as they try to fight your claim in order to avoid paying a fair amount. They will also be by your side at any depositions or hearings you may have to attend.
A skilled attorney will be prepared to go up against the insurance company’s team of lawyers and adjusters who often deny legitimate medical procedures which have been recommended by physicians. This sometimes involves going to hearings in order to force the insurance company to pay for your treatment. A good attorney will know how to play hardball when it comes to making sure you get the medical attention you are owed.
Your legal counsel will also take care of the red tape involved in a workers’ compensation case, including paperwork and deadlines. They will make sure you are properly communicating with your doctor, which is necessary in order to build a strong case that accurately details your specific injuries and complaints.
YOU MAY HAVE A CASE AGAINST A THIRD PARTY
It is also possible that your lawyer will identify a third party who was responsible for your injury. These types of instances might include a slip and fall hazard that was caused at your place of employment by a janitorial service, or any number of other scenarios. These details could be easily overlooked without a diligent attorney investigating your case.
Simply put, you are far more likely to get a higher settlement if you hire a Workers’ Compensation attorney, as they are professionals who have the experience, negotiation skills, and knowledge necessary to achieve the best outcome.
Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates today at 888-353-5513 for a free case evaluation.