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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Many people have a general understanding that workers’ compensation provides benefits for on-the-job injuries. But, unless you have been through this process before, you may be asking, “What is workers’ compensation?”
Why do we have workers’ compensation laws in SC? Is it just to take care of SC workers or is it to protect the employers?
When can you file a workers’ compensation claim and what types of injuries does it cover? How much are the benefits? What are your rights under SC’s workers’ compensation laws?
Although we’ll discuss these questions below, your first step after reporting an on-the-job injury is to consult with an experienced Myrtle Beach workers’ comp lawyer who will review your case, answer your questions, and help you to get the compensation that you deserve…
Why do we have workers’ compensation laws in SC? Is it to protect SC workers and ensure that they are taken care of?
In part, but it is also to protect your employer.
It’s a compromise – your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and to follow the workers’ compensation laws that guarantee you certain benefits regardless of fault. But, in exchange, your employer is protected from lawsuits by their employees. With few exceptions, you cannot sue your employer for an injury that you suffered while working for them.
They are not required to pay some types of compensation that you would be entitled to if anyone else had caused your injuries, and, no matter how terrible your employer’s conduct was, they will not be required to pay punitive damages.
So, what are they required to pay?
In most cases, your employer is technically not paying the bill – instead, (if they qualify) they are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and to report your injuries to their insurance company.
You will not be compensated for pain and suffering or any type of “general damages,” and you will only receive a percentage of your regular income for disability payments. You can receive compensation for:
Although the Commission sets the rates of compensation and limits on your compensation, the amount that you will be paid will depend on the type of injuries you suffered, whether you are partially or totally disabled, and the cost of your medical expenses.
You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits (if your employer qualifies) when:
It doesn’t matter who was at fault – whether it was your own fault, a co-worker’s fault, or your employer’s fault, SC’s workers’ compensation laws require your employer to cover the costs of your injuries (and prevent you from suing your employer).
Not every business is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in SC.
Although there are exceptions, SC businesses that employ four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance – including full-time employees, part-time employees, adults, minors, and even seasonal workers.
Exceptions to the workers’ compensation insurance requirement in SC include:
There are other exceptions to the workers’ compensation law in SC – if you are an employer who is not sure whether you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you should consult a Myrtle Beach business attorney who can advise you based on your unique situation.
First, you must immediately report the injury to your employer – if you do not report the injury within the 90-day deadline, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you do not immediately report the injury, even if you are within the time limit when you report it, your employer or their insurance company are more likely to deny your claim. We will have the burden of proof to show that your injuries happened while you were on the job, and your employer’s insurance company will deny or limit your claim whenever possible…
Once you have reported the injury, your employer has the right to choose what doctor you see. If your employer or their insurance carrier denies your claim or tries to limit your benefits, your Myrtle Beach workers’ comp attorney will then file what is called a “Form 50” with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Unless the claim is settled, we will then have a contested hearing in front of a Commissioner, who will hear the claims, evidence, and medical testimony before making a decision. If the Commissioner denies your claim, we can then appeal their decision to:
Do you need an attorney to file your initial claim?
No, although having an experienced workers’ comp lawyer on your side from the beginning may help you to get the compensation you deserve without having to appeal through the courts.
Do you need an attorney to file your Form 50 with the Workers’ Comp Commission?
There is no doubt that you are more likely to get your claim approved for the maximum amount, avoid the necessity for appeals, and not miss filing deadlines if you have a SC workers’ comp lawyer handling your case for you.
Usually, when someone asks me “do I really need a workers’ comp attorney,” my answer will be, “do you want to get paid?” Attempting to navigate the workers’ compensation system in SC without an experienced workers’ comp lawyer is a frustrating and often disappointing experience…
Your Myrtle Beach workers’ compensation attorney on the Axelrod team will help you to file your claim, gather the evidence you will need to prove your claim, represent you at your workers’ comp hearing, and file any necessary appeals.
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