How do you file a workers’ compensation claim in SC?
Below, we will go over the basics of filing your claim, including:
- When your employer should file the claim for you,
- What to do when your employer does not file the claim for you,
- Requesting a workers’ comp hearing, and
- Reasons why your employer might refuse to file your claim.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in SC
How do you file your workers’ compensation claim?
After you report your injury to your employer, they may provide you with the necessary forms and file your claim for you. If they do not, you or your attorney may need to file the claim and request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Reporting the Injury
You have up to 90 days to report your on-the-job injury to your employer. If you do not report the injury within the deadline, you may be forever barred from seeking workers’ compensation benefits for the injury…
Of course, you should not wait 90 days before reporting the injury – you should report it immediately.
Get any necessary medical treatment but talk to your employer beforehand if possible. Your employer or their insurance company will get to choose the doctor that you see (you are entitled to a second opinion from an independent physician if needed), and your medical expenses should be covered.
If your employer or their insurance company denies your claim, however, you may be forced to file the claim yourself (or your attorney will file the claim for you).
Filing the Workers’ Compensation Claim
When your claim has been denied, or when the insurance company denies part of your claim, you can file a workers’ compensation claim yourself using SC workers’ compensation forms that are available online: a Form 50 Notice of Claim and Request for Hearing (for on-the-job injuries) or a Form 52 Notice of Claim and Request for Hearing in Death Cases.
The form for filing a workers’ compensation claim requires you to provide information about the accident and your injuries, including:
- The body parts that were injured,
- A description of how the accident occurred,
- Whether the injuries involve a physical injury, illness, repetitive trauma, occupational disease, or physical brain injury,
- The date notice was provided to your employer and how the notice was provided,
- The type of treatment required for the injury,
- Whether you are asking for total, partial, temporary, or permanent disability benefits,
- The amount of your weekly wages,
- The names and addresses of all employers you have worked for since the accident,
- The names and addresses of all physicians or specialists you have seen since the accident, and
- Whether you have any prior disabilities.
The information requested is detailed, and, if you provide the wrong answers to some questions, it can later be used against you to shut down your claim and deny your benefits…
This is one reason that it is critical to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer before filing your claim so an experienced attorney can review your documentation before you fill out the form.
Request a Hearing
When you file the workers’ compensation claim, you can also request a hearing where you will present your claim, present your medical evidence, and ask a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner to approve your claim.
In other cases, you may need to request a hearing where you will ask a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner to order that your benefits continue, that you are entitled to more benefits than the insurance company will agree to pay, or that you are entitled to total permanent disability benefits when the insurance company denies them.
In any case, you will need to prepare medical evidence to prove your claim – it is not enough to appear and explain to the Commissioner what happened and why you believe you are entitled to benefits. You must prove your claim and it must be proven with medical evidence from qualified physicians.
After you file your workers’ compensation claim and request a hearing, you may be required to participate in mediation, where a mediator will hear the medical evidence and attempt to reach an agreement with the insurance company to settle your claim before it gets to court.
Why Would an Employer not Want Me to File a Claim?
Some employers do everything they can to discourage an employee from filing a workers’ compensation claim.
There may be a valid reason an employer refuses to file a claim. For example:
- They do not believe you were injured on the job,
- Your injury did not require medical attention,
- They believe that your claim is fraudulent,
- They will argue that you are an independent contractor and not their employee,
- They do not have workers’ comp insurance because they are exempt, or
- You did not notify your employer within the deadline.
There may also be not-so-valid reasons an employer refuses to file a claim, like:
- They do not have workers’ comp insurance even though they are required to,
- They do not want their workers’ comp insurance premiums to increase, or
- You or other employees are undocumented immigrants.
Employers do not have the right to refuse to report your injury to the Workers’ Compensation Commission – if your employer refuses to file your claim and something seems wrong, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney immediately.
If your employer asks you to use your private health insurance instead of worker’s compensation, don’t do it. Tell your doctor that you were injured on the job and call an attorney.
If your employer offers to pay for the doctor’s bills out of their pocket, don’t do it. Tell your doctor that you were injured on the job and call an attorney.
If your employer offers to pay you while you are not working, don’t do it. Tell your doctor that you were injured on the job and call an attorney.
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance although they are required to, that is their problem for them to work out – you are entitled to compensation.
If your employer is concerned about their premiums increasing, that is also their problem for them to work out – you are entitled to compensation.
If you are undocumented, you are still entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits under SC law – do not let your employer tell you otherwise.
If you are hurt on the job in SC, tell your doctor that you were hurt on the job, file a workers’ compensation claim, and contact your attorney as soon as possible so you can get professional advice about your situation.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC
Your Myrtle Beach worker’s compensation lawyer on the Axelrod team will help you to file your claim, determine how long your workers’ compensation benefits may last, and represent you before the workers’ compensation commission for any hearings and appeals.