Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head & Beaufort, SC
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover the benefits you are entitled to. Approximately 47,000 workers sustained a job-related injury in South Carolina in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is an average of nearly 130 injuries per day. Injuries occur in all types of industries, from construction and mining, to office work and retail. Fortunately, most employees who sustain an on-the-job injury or develop an occupational illness or condition will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which are provided by their employer’s insurer. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head or Beaufort, SC from Workers Compensation Lawyers- will help you get those benefits.
Do I qualify for workers’ compensation?
There are two general requisites to qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits. The workers compensation lawyers at Workers Compensation Lawyers- will help you establish that you meet these criteria. To be eligible, you must be able to answer “yes” to the following questions.
- Are you an employee? (Self-employed workers and general contractors may not be covered.)
- Did your injury occur while performing job-related tasks? (Or did your illness/condition arise due to work-related conditions or tasks?) In other words, did it occur in the course and scope of your employment?
There are a few factors that can exclude workers from eligibility, e.g., you were intoxicated, involved in horseplay, or purposely injured yourself. Your workers compensation lawyer will point out that, for the most part, so long as your accident meets the above stipulations, you should qualify for benefits.
What types of benefits are available?
The workers’ compensation system was put in place to protect employers from liability (you generally cannot sue your employer for work injury damages), as well as to provide a financial safety net for workers or their families should they sustain injury or death on the job and become unable to work.
There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits in SC.
- Medical benefits – From the time the injury or illness first occurs, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for all your reasonable and necessary medical expenses, including hospital bills, diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and physician follow-ups. It will also cover your travel expenses for out-of-town medical appointments.
- Wage replacement – If you are out of work for more than seven days, you can qualify to receive a weekly wage replacement check in the amount of two-thirds of your pre-injury wages. A qualified workers compensation lawyer will know that if you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive retroactive pay for your first seven days out of work.
- Disability – If you cannot work (totally disabled) or your injury limits your ability to work (partially disabled), you can receive a disability check for up to 500 weeks. If you are totally disabled, your payment will be two-thirds of your pre-injury wages; if you are partially disabled and have taken a lesser paying job or role, your payment will be calculated at two-thirds of the difference in your wages.
- Scheduled loss benefits – South Carolina workers’ compensation laws provide that when workers lose functionality of certain body parts, you are entitled to benefits for a certain amount of time, depending on the body part. For instance, if you completely lose vision in an eye, you are entitled to scheduled loss benefits for 140 weeks. A workers compensation lawyer at our firm can explain if your injuries qualify you for scheduled loss benefits and the duration of benefit you are due.
- Death benefits – If a worker is killed on the job, or dies from a work-related injury within six years after the accident, his/her family is entitled to the workers’ wage replacement benefits for not less than 500 weeks, as well as up to $2,500 in funeral expenses.
What if I run into problems with my claim?
The workers’ compensation claims process is not always easy or straightforward, and a lot of claimants end up running into problems. For instance, insurers may try to refute or minimize your injuries or the viability of your claim in general, your employer may be urging you to return to work before you have recovered, or the tending physician may have assigned you with too low of a disability rating. Also, some injured workers wind up harming their own case by not adhering to the time limits, skipping doctors’ appointments, or not pushing themselves too hard too fast.
If you have issues with your claim or your benefits are prematurely shut off, you need to act quickly to resolve the problem. There are administrative remedies for wrongly denied or unjustly handled claims, but there are strict guidelines and time limits on the appeals process. So talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm for assistance.
You and your workers compensation lawyer can work together to compile evidence to support your claim and then appeal your case, if necessary.
For help from a workers’ compensation lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head or Beaufort, SC, call Workers Compensation Lawyers- today at 843-790-5633, and schedule a free, no-obligation consult.
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