Anyone who has sustained injuries at work in Spartanburg, South Carolina is bound to have some questions. Some questions are very specific to your own injury and claim, but many others are more general and apply to any workers’ compensation claim. Today, we’re going to look at the general questions that we get most frequently at Bryan Ramey & Associates, and provide the answers that you are looking for. For questions that are more specific to the circumstances of your own particular work related injury, call us for a FREE consultation.
How Do You Report Your Injury Correctly?
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation in Spartanburg, South Carolina, you must report your injury correctly. This means that you need to know who to report it to, what exactly you need to do, and when you need to report it. For starters, you should report the injury to a supervisor or management personnel. At this point, you should receive an incident report to fill out. If you do not, then you should report the injury in writing. You have 90 days to do so, but the sooner you do so the stronger your claim will be.
How Do You Start Your Claim for Benefits?
To start your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you will usually get help from your employer. They should report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance company to initiate the process. However, things do not always happen in this way. Sometimes, the employer doesn’t know what they are supposed to do or how to do it. They may not have handled a claim before, or they may be new to their position. They may not have fully understood how the process works when they purchased their insurance. More often, an employer will simply refuse to help because they don’t think your injury qualifies or because they don’t want to report the fact that an injury occurred.
In any event, if your employer won’t help you to initiate your workers’ compensation claim, this is not the end of the road. You can start the claim yourself with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, gathering the appropriate forms form their website or office. Or you can call Bryan Ramey & Associates for a FREE consultation to help you decide if you want our help with your claim.
How Can You Receive Medical Treatment for Injuries?
In cases where your injury is urgent, you can seek treatment from the nearest emergency room. If your injury is not urgent, then you need to seek treatment from a physician that is approved by your employer and their insurance provider. If your employer or their workers’ compensation company will not approve a doctor, contact Bryan Ramey & Associates for a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights and options for seeking medical treatment.
How Will Your Wage Benefits Be Determined?
If your injury does not require you to take time off of work to recover, then there will be no wage benefits provided. However, if you are not able to work for more than seven days, you will begin receiving wage benefits after the seventh day. If you are not able to work for more than 14 days, then your first seven days of missed work will also be covered. Your wage benefits will be paid at your “compensation rate”, which is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and these payments are tax-free. If you are able to return to light duty work that accommodates your medical restrictions, but pays less than you formerly earned, then you will still be eligible for wage benefits, but they will be two-thirds of the difference between your former average weekly wage and your current light duty wages. Your benefits will cease after 500 weeks of not being able to work. If you are able to return to your former position before this, then the wage benefits will cease this time, even if you do not return to work.
How Do You Know If You Need a Workers’ Compensation Hearing?
There are some cases where it might be necessary to request a workers’ compensation hearing. This is usually because a decision was made about your eligibility for benefits or ability to return to work which you disagree with. Your physician may have cleared you to return to work, when your actual condition still prevents you from doing so, for example. In another example, you may have your claim denied entirely, when it is truly a valid claim. If you need to request a hearing for workers’ compensation in Spartanburg, South Carolina, you will do so with Form 50. Contact Bryan Ramey & Associates for a FREE consultation to learn more about this process.
How Can You Get a Second Opinion From Another Physician?
In some cases, an injured worker will not agree with the assessment of a physician who is approved by the employer or insurance company. You may feel that they are working more for your employer and insurance company’s benefit than for your own health. If you want a second opinion, this will have to be approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company. If you do not get approved to seek that second opinion, then you will need to request a hearing.
How Can You Get Your Prescriptions and Mileage Covered?
We also hear a variety of questions concerning the expenses associated with going to the doctor and disagreements with the employer or insurance approved physician. For example, you may be wondering if you can recover compensation for the expenses associated with traveling. In cases where you must travel a distance greater than 10 miles, round trip, then you can recover travel expenses by reporting your mileage. This will be reimbursed at the same rate that state employees receive for their mileage. In some cases, you may also be able to receive mileage reimbursement for traveling to the pharmacy. You can also recover compensation for your prescription medications in this way.
We Can Help!
Again, you are bound to have more specific questions, based on the unique circumstances of your work injury. Call Bryan Ramey & Associates for a FREE consultation with our dedicated Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys for answers to these questions.