Suffering an injury on the job or developing an illness connected with your employment is a serious challenge. The last thing you want to worry about is finding the money you need to pay medical bills and other costs, especially if you are out of work. In most cases, South Carolina employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to help employees meet their financial expenses in these situations. Located in Greenville, the Dennison Law Firm, P.C. handles workers’ compensation claims and appeals, building strong cases for clients and answering key questions such as:
Strict rules and deadlines exist, so it’s important to seek counsel from a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer who can maximize the likelihood of a favorable result.
The Dennison Law Firm, P.C. represents South Carolina clients in workers’ compensation proceedings and other legal matters. Please call 864-214-2463 or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my office in Greenville.
Who is eligible for workers’ compensation?
Most people who work at businesses with at least four employees are protected by workers’ compensation coverage. However, federal employees, farm workers and people in some other types of jobs don’t receive this type of protection. Sometimes, an issue arises as to whether an injured claimant is an independent contractor, who would not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Are my medical expenses covered if I’m hurt on the job?
Yes, medical bills arising from a job-related injury or illness are covered under workers’ compensation. These include associated costs, such as rehabilitation and travel expenses. If your employer or its insurance company is challenging whether a procedure is necessary or whether you’ve followed the prescribed course of treatment, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Am I entitled to reimbursement for lost wages when I cannot work?
Yes, under South Carolina law, if you are completely unable to do your job due to a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to collect two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to a limit set by the state each year. For 2019, the maximum weekly wage replacement amount is $845.74.
How long will my benefits last?
Once you are able to return to full work duties, your wage replacement payments end. If you are still limited by a total or partial disability after you have reached maximum medical improvement, compensation can be awarded on a lump-sum or periodic basis.
Do I have to prove that my employer was negligent?
No, workers’ compensation payments are provided regardless of whether the employer was at fault for the injury or illness. This helps you get the payments you need much more quickly and avoids an adversarial proceeding pitting you against your employer.
What happens if my claim for benefits is rejected?
After a denial or an award that you believe is insufficient, you can file a hearing request with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If a question exists regarding the extent of your injury, the commission could require you to undergo a medical exam. You can be represented by an attorney and present evidence at a hearing before one commissioner. In the event the denial is not reversed, the next step is to seek review before three commission members. Following that, you may be able to file a court case alleging the commissioners evaluating your case did not follow the law.
Am I able to take legal action against a negligent third party?
Yes, though the workers’ compensation system prevents injury lawsuits against your employer, this bar does not apply if you were hurt at work due to the negligence of a third party. For example, if you are driving a vehicle during the course of your employment and are hit by a careless driver, you can obtain reimbursement for medical costs and lost wages through workers’ compensation and pursue other damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, in a personal injury action against the negligent motorist.