Workers Comp Attorney in Spartanburg, SC
Workers compensation lawyers, how can they help? If you have been injured at work, you have a right, under South Carolina law, to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The point of these benefits is to ensure that you remain financially stable and able to treat and recover from your injuries with your medical expenses and rehabilitation covered.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go easy when it comes to receiving the workers’ compensation benefits that you’re entitled to. Incorrectly filled out forms or hurdles that you have to face can prevent you from receiving your benefits and payments. This is where you need a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to fight for your rights. A workers compensation attorney can typically visit you in your home or in the hospital if necessary and we offer a free consultation.
Workers’ Compensation Cases and Timelines
Time Limits for Reporting an Injury and Filing a Claim
How long do I have to report a work-related injury?
If you have sustained a work-related injury, you must report it to your supervisor within 90 days. If you do not do so, then you cannot receive compensation for your injuries unless there is a reasonable exception to satisfy the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the employer is found to be unprejudiced (SC Code Ann. § 42-15-20). If you do not immediately (or soon thereafter) give notice of the accident to your employer, then you will not be entitled to medical compensation or benefits.
In some cases, such as occupational disease, you must inform your employer when you become disabled and when you reasonably should have discovered the condition (Muir v. C.R. Bard, Inc. 336 S.C. 266, 519 S.E.2d 583 – S.C. App. 1999).
What is the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Statute of Limitations:
Once you’ve discovered a compensable injury or illness and have notified your employer within 90 days of discovery, you have two years from the date of the injury or discovery of illness to file a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. If the accident resulted in death, then the survivors of the employee have two years from the date of death to file a claim. You cannot get around the statute of limitations unless you can demonstrate that your employer mislead you into failing to act within the given time limit.
Change of Condition:
If your physical condition changes, due to the original injury, you have twelve months from the date of your last payment of compensation to report the change of condition (S.C. Code Ann. § 42-17-90).
What is the Statute of Limitations for injured minors?
A minor employee can still recover damages from workers’ compensation, even if he or she lied about age on the application for employment. There is no time limit against those who are dependent minors without a guardian, trustee, or committee or against the mentally incompetent. An employee is defined in S.C. Code Ann. §42-1-130 as including minors, even if they are unlawfully employed.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in South Carolina
There are two major steps in filing a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. First, you must give notice to your employer within 90 days of the incident. Next, you must file Form 50 or Form 52 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the incident. If you don’t meet the deadlines, then you will lose your ability to receive benefits.
The process of getting workers’ compensation can be complex and confusing, and it helps to have a Spartanburg, SC workers’ compensation attorney to handle the important steps and details and guide you through the process. You want to work with an attorney who inspires confidence and shows compassion and care for your situation and unique needs. Contact a lawyer for a free consultation on your South Carolina workers compensation claim, today.
When it comes to finding the right lawyer to help you with your workers’ compensation claim in Spartanburg, SC, you want to choose someone with experience in working with insurance companies to receive fair compensation for workplace injuries. If you have been seriously injured, or if you are a survivor of someone who was killed on the job, then it is especially important for you to have the benefit of an experienced attorney.
South Carolina Workers’ Comp Process
The process of filing a South Carolina worker’s compensation claim begins when you notify your employer of the injury causing incident. You must notify your employer right away or as soon as possible in accordance with the SC Workers’ Compensation Act. The legal statute allows for 90 days between the date of the accident and notifying your employer, barring special circumstances and exceptions. For example, if you were prevented from giving notice due to fraud, deceit, or a physical/mental incapacity, then you can demonstrate that you were unable to notify your employer for a valid reason and should still be allowed to file a claim.
Repetitive trauma injuries are somewhat different because they don’t result from a single incident. Thus, you must notify your employer of repetitive trauma injuries within 90 days of the date that you discovered the injury or reasonably should have.
Next, you will file a claim for benefits. Your employer should report your accident to start this process. If they do not, or if they deny your injury, or if you do not receive all the benefits that you are entitled to, then you can file your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, personally. To do so, you will submit Form 50 (or Form 52 in cases where death has occurred). Be sure to checkmark the box near the signature line that indicates that you are filing a claim, not requesting a hearing at this time. You then file the claim via registered mail.
There is a two year statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina. This means that you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim, or two years from the date of the death of your loved one. The two year deadline does not apply in cases where the injured worker is mentally incompetent or a minor without a guardian, trustee, or committee. With repetitive trauma injuries and occupational diseases, the two year timeline begins on the date that you discovered the condition or should have. If it has been over seven years from your last exposure to the injury or illness causing condition, then you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, the two year timeline will not begin until you have been officially diagnosed with an occupational disease.
The best course of action when facing South Carolina workers’ compensation laws is to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you get the benefits that you are entitled to without missing any deadlines or important steps.
When to hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’re not sure if you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney, then consider some of the following questions before seeking a free consultation:
- Have you been injured on the job?
- Did you receive or require medical attention for workplace injuries?
- Were you injured while driving for work-related purposes?
- Are you unable to work because of the injury?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and payments. If you choose to work with a workers’ compensation attorney, then you will be able to receive your pay and benefits as quickly as possible and will avoid the common mistakes of injured workers. You may need to file a third party claim, in some cases, such as when a defective product harms you while you are working. An attorney can advise you on your options and help you get the maximum benefits that you deserve.