South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Near You
If you have been injured on the job, you have rights! And you need an SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer near you who understands the process.
South Carolina Workers Compensation laws are designed to protect the victims of job-related injuries. Injured employees may be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings, compensation for permanent injuries, and past or future medical expenses.
Were you injured on the job?
Notify your employer IMMEDIATELY! Many claims are denied because your employer is not notified of your injury within 90 days of when you became aware of your injury.
Do NOT give any written or recorded statements to the insurance company without speaking to an attorney!
Worker’s compensation cases are very complex. Often, we have to deal with third-party claims, liens, the onset date of injury, and other legal issues that are common to the workers’ compensation case. We have experience in all areas of worker’s compensation. Stop the worrying and headaches. We’ll protect your rights when hurt at work.
Our Workers Comp Law Offices in South Carolina
Conveniently located near you in:
- Myrtle Beach & Conway, SC – 1053 London Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
- Charleston, SC – 597 Old Mt Holly Rd, Suite 301, Goose Creek, SC 29445
- Loris, SC – 4123 Meeting St, Loris, SC 29569
- Florence, SC – 601 W Evans St, Suite 200, Florence, SC 29501
We serve the entire state of South Carolina, including Columbia, SC.
Workers' Compensation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
No matter what type of job you might have, it is possible that you might suffer a work injury or occupational illness in Myrtle Beach. When people suffer work-related accidents or illnesses, they may face mounting expenses combined with income losses. You might be left with substantial medical expenses and be unable to return to your job for a lengthy period while you are recovering.
To protect workers who have been injured or have contracted illnesses because of their jobs, South Carolina has a workers' compensation system in place. If you have an accident at work, monetary compensation can help you survive until you are back on your feet. Workers' compensation pays benefits to injured and ill workers so that they can be protected and can meet their basic financial needs. The attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm are experienced with handling workers' compensation claims. We believe that workers who have been injured or who have developed work-related illnesses are entitled to recover benefits. We aggressively advocate for our clients to help them to recover the benefits that they should receive.
Our workers' comp office in Myrtle Beach is at 1053 London Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. Any injury taking place at work merits a free consultation with a local Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney.
Info & FAQs About Workers Comp in South Carolina
- What Is Workers' Comp in South Carolina?
- Steps To Take (The Clock is Ticking)
- What Types of Injuries Are Covered?
- Tips To Keep In Mind
- How Much Is My Claim Worth?
- What Does Workers' Compensation Pay For in SC?
- How Soon Do You Receive Workers’ Compensation Payments?
- Injured at Work? Let Us Help You Today!
- Why Are Claims Denied by the Workers' Compensation Commission?
- Get Help From the SC Workers' Compensation Attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm
- Who Does SC Workers' Compensation Cover?
- Can I Sue My Employer?
- What's the History of South Carolina's Workers Compensation System?
- Does SC Workers' Compensation Pay for Vocational Rehabilitation?
- How Can SC Vocational Rehabilitation Help?
- How Can My SC Workers' Comp Attorney Help?
- What if My SC Workers' Compensation Benefits Were Terminated?
- Can Marijuana or Opioid Use Result in Denial of Workers' Comp Benefits in SC?
What Is Workers' Comp in South Carolina?
Workers comp is a type of insurance coverage that employers in South Carolina must carry (every employer with four or more employees is required to provide workers compensation insurance). This state-mandated insurance requires payments to be made to an employee who has been injured during the course of his or her employment. When people are hurt at work, they can file claims with their employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier.
SC workers' compensation laws have multiple reasons for existing:
- They are a safety net to ensure that employees' medical needs are taken care of if the employee is hurt while making money for their employer;
- They protect employers from lawsuits for on-the-job injuries;
- Providing quick benefits to victims of work-related accidents;
- Providing a singular remedy to reduce the negative effects of personal injury lawsuits;
- Keep charities from bearing the financial burden of accidents that occur on the job;
- Minimize costs of a lawsuit for the injured individual;
- Encourage an employer to have an interest in employee safety; and
- Encourage investigations for accidents to reduce the number of accidents overall.
Unlike other types of personal injury claims, injured and ill workers are not required to prove fault or negligence to recover compensation from workers' comp insurance. The state doesn't care whose fault it was - even if your injury is the result of your own mistake or negligence, you can still file a workers' compensation claim in South Carolina (worker's compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that an employee's carelessness does not preclude them from claiming benefits when injured). In exchange for the ability to file claims through workers' compensation insurance, workers give up their rights to file personal injury lawsuits against their employers.
If you have been injured on the job in South Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury under South Carolina's workers' compensation program.
Workers' compensation insurance benefits can compensate you for your medical expenses, including doctors' visits, ongoing care, prescription costs, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and prosthetic devices. You will not have to use your medical insurance or pay any copays or deductibles. If your work-related injury or illness prevents you from returning to your job for a lengthy period, you might also be able to recover monetary benefits that replace a percentage of your regular income up to a maximum amount. Finally, certain family members of fatally injured workers in workplace accidents can recover compensation to pay for their loved ones' funeral and burial costs and to replace a percentage of their lost incomes.
Steps To Take (The Clock is Ticking)
Don't sit back, do nothing, and wait for the system to take care of you. Delay can result in denial of SC workers' compensation benefits. There are a few things you need to take care of immediately to protect your workers' compensation claim when you have been injured or have suffered an illness because of your job.
Step 1: Get medical treatment and keep any/all documentation.
When you have been injured or have learned that you have developed an illness because of your job, you should obviously seek medical treatment first. Putting this off could result in a more serious injury and can make it easier for your employer to deny your claim. Treatment and medical issues should be formally recorded by your physician(s).
Step 2: Report it to your employer in writing within 90 days of when you become aware of your injury!
Again, many claims are denied because your employer is not notified within this timeframe. Put your employer on notice that you have been injured while in the course of employment. Reporting the injury to your employer should be done as soon as possible if it is not possible to alert him or her immediately. After the 90-day period, it becomes substantially more difficult to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Step 3: Contact your workers' comp lawyer in South Carolina (such as Lovely Law Firm).
In addition to helping you understand the complicated rules and procedures, a lawyer can make sure that you're not missing deadlines, that you collect the appropriate medical and employment records, and that you get help from medical and vocational experts to prove the severity of your injury. Your SC workers' compensation attorney at the Lovely Law Firm can help you by avoiding costly mistakes. They'll walk with you through the entire process (including any appeals).
If you've been injured on the job, the experienced workers' compensation attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm right here in South Carolina are happy to help guide you through the complex process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and obtaining the benefits you're entitled to. If you choose not to hire a workers' comp lawyer, make sure that you meet all of the requirements outlined by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission. We provide free case evaluations.
Step 4: File your claim promptly.
When you delay in filing your claim, you're more likely to be denied. While you have two years to file a Workers' Compensation claim in South Carolina (beginning at the time you notified your employer), it's usually in your best interest to file the claim much sooner than that. Filing a timely claim enables you to receive benefits within a shorter time period and procrastinating is simply not going to benefit your financial situation. If you are filing on behalf of an individual who passed away as a result of a fatal accident or condition, the time period to file a claim is two years from the date of the individual’s death. An exception is present when an injured individual is mentally incompetent or a minor. In these cases, the two-year timeframe does not apply. Waiting to do this can have disastrous consequences. In Harrison v. Owen Steel Company, the SC Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a workers' compensation claim made by a steelworker who injured his neck. The denial was, in part, the result of Harrison's delay in filing his workers' comp claim. Had Harrison hired a workers' compensation attorney immediately after his injury, his attorney would have made sure the claim was filed without delay and that his injuries were documented. This highlights not only the importance of filing your claim without delay, but also the importance of carefully documenting the nature and extent of the current injury so that future claims are less likely to be denied.
Your employer should provide the necessary paperwork and file the claim on your behalf (but we strongly recommend that you consult an attorney before any paperwork is filed). However, if an employer is being uncooperative, does not file the paperwork, or denies that the accident was work-related, you can file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission personally.
After a claim has been filed, an injured worker’s case will be investigated.
Step 5: Avoid posting on social media and only discuss your workers' compensation claim with your attorney.
Try to avoid social media. Do not talk about your claim or your injury on social media. A common tactic that is used by insurance companies is to pore over the social media pages of injured people. They do this to find pictures and posts that they might argue show that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming.
Step 6: Be prepared - your employer may fight your claim.
Employers often contest workers' compensation claims. The workers' compensation system is designed to make sure that you are covered if you are hurt while on the job. But, you still must meet deadlines, provide meticulous documentation, and build your case.
Step 7: Receive decision and appeal if necessary.
A workers’ compensation commissioner will determine the benefits to be disbursed. If you are unsatisfied with the amount that is determined for your case, you may make an appeal for the Commission to review the case.
Tips To Keep In Mind
- Your employer will choose a doctor for you to see. Make certain that you keep all of your appointments and follow any recommendations that you are given by the physician. Your injuries will be documented by the physician, so it is important for you to explain them in detail. Do not downplay your injuries or exaggerate about them.
- Keep an open line of communication with your lawyer. Your attorney will keep what you tell them confidential. You will need to explain what happened to your attorney and to tell him or her about any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions that you have. Being honest is crucial so that your case will be stronger.
- When you are dealing with the insurance company, do not agree to sign a document or to provide a recorded statement without talking to your attorney first. Avoid talking to people who ask you about your injuries. Insurance companies frequently hire private investigators to try to uncover evidence that they can use against injured workers. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers to not discuss your injuries or illness with anyone who asks questions about you.
If you need help filing your SC workers' comp claim, negotiating your claim, or appealing an unfair denial or termination of your workers' comp benefits, call us today at (843) 839-4111 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers' Compensation in South Carolina?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), work accidents and injuries are relatively common. In 2020, which is the most recent year for which information is available, the BLS that there were 2.7 million non-fatal injuries that occurred in private places of employment. There were 1,176,340 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at least one day of work in 2020, 32.4 percent higher than in 2019. In South Carolina, the BLS reported 29,100 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in South Carolina in 2020, resulting in an incidence rate of 2.1 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. In South Carolina's public sector, 9,500 injury and illness cases were reported in 2020, resulting in a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that the following types of work-related injuries were reported the most frequently in 2018:
- Struck by accidents
- Caught in or between objects or machinery
- Eye and face injuries
- Forklift injuries
- Toxic exposures
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Many workers also develop chronic illnesses from their jobs. These types of injuries can include mesothelioma, other types of cancer, hearing loss, blindness, and others. Workers who have the highest risk of workplace injuries work in the construction, manufacturing, health care, and public safety industries. Even workers who work at jobs that are perceived as being relatively safe can suffer injuries and illnesses because of their jobs. For example, a common type of workplace injury that is suffered by many office workers is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards from OSHA
The following were the top 10 most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA for Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020)...
- Fall Protection, construction
- Hazard Communication Standard, general industry
- Respiratory Protection, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Ladders, construction
- Control of Hazardous Energy
- Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements
- Eye and Face Protection
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
Workers Compensation settlements in South Carolina involve several different factors that vary on a case-by-case basis (see "What Does Workers' Compensation Cover in SC?" below). Want to know how much your SC workers' comp claim is worth? Estimate the maximum value of your worker's compensation claim in South Carolina here. Workers' compensation settlement amounts vary based on a variety of factors, which is why we created that calculator.
Getting injured at work can be emotionally taxing on many levels, but financial stress can be especially significant when medical bills start accumulating and working is impossible. If you find yourself in this scenario, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance provided by employers which covers a multitude of aspects after getting hurt on the job.
What Does Workers' Compensation Pay For in SC?
Living and working in South Carolina provides you with the assurance that you are covered if your injury occurs in the workplace. Whether you work in an office, grocery store, or warehouse, you are entitled to receive benefits for lost wages while you are recuperating from your injury. Workers' Compensation also provides money for your medical treatments, including prescribed medications, surgical procedures, and physical therapy sessions.
In South Carolina, Workers Compensation pays for:
- Necessary medical treatment,
- Loss of wages during a period of disability, and
- Compensation for temporary disability, permanent disability, disfigurement, or death.
If you have been injured on the job, workers' compensation will cover the full amount of any medical treatments that are needed in order to recover. Such coverage includes:
- Surgical costs
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitative services
- Prescription medication
You have the right to see a physician at your employer's expense. However, you must receive treatment from a doctor appointed by your employer. Your employer's insurance agency is responsible for all medical bills related to the injury.
If your work-related injury caused a permanent disability, Workers' Compensation provides you with money so that you can pay your bills and buy groceries when you are unable to work. A serious disability may entitle you to receive up to 500 weeks of compensation. If your injury caused you to become paralyzed or to incur a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may have the legal right to receive compensation for the rest of your life. If you are injured at work, consult with a personal injury attorney to find out whether you can sue.
If an injury that occurred while at work causes you to miss at least seven days of work, you are entitled to receive benefits from workers' compensation for lost wages. While workers' compensation in SC does not reimburse you for your full wages, you may be eligible for 2/3 of your weekly wages (66⅔%), but this amount cannot exceed the State's average weekly wage as established each year by the South Carolina Employment Security Commission (the 2022 maximum weekly compensation rate for workers' compensation in South Carolina is $963.37 for injuries arising on and after January 1, 2022).
If you are disabled for a period of 14 days or longer, workers' compensation will retroactively reimburse you for compensation beginning on the date you were injured. The maximum benefits any individual is eligible to receive from workers' compensation if he or she is deemed totally disabled is 500 weeks of compensation.
It is also important to note that an individual is only eligible to receive up to 100% of South Carolina's average weekly wage. Thus, 2/3 of an injured person's weekly wage is higher than 100% of the average weekly wage in South Carolina, the individual's benefits are capped.
If your ability to work has been hindered by your injury, you are entitled to disability benefits under the act in your workers' compensation settlement. Disabilities are divided into two categories: total disability and partial disability.
Both partial and total disability benefits may be paid for up to 500 weeks.
Total disability means that you are no longer able to work in any form or fashion. If you are deemed totally disabled, you are eligible to receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage, as long as that wage is not above the state average. Total disability is based on wage loss, not total incapacitation. Total Disability does not require total helplessness, but is generally the “inability to perform services other than those limited in quality, dependability, or quantity that a reasonably stable market for them does not exist.” The maximum award for total disability or death is limited by law to five hundred (500) weeks of compensation. The rate of compensation is determined by the injured employee's average weekly wage and cannot exceed the State average weekly wage. The loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, or vision of both eyes, or a combination of two such losses constitutes a total and permanent disability. In addition, the commissioner involved in your worker's compensation case can make other disability determinations based on the particular loss or impairment to the whole person. The five hundred week limit does not apply to workers whose injuries result in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or physical brain damage, as these workers may receive benefits for the remainder of their life.
Partial disability occurs when you are able to perform some sort of work, but cannot return to the job you had before your injury. If you receive a decrease in wages, you are entitled to receive 2/3 of the difference between your previous and current wages.
Amounts of compensation for partial disability or disfigurement are generally established by schedule and limited by statute or Commission regulation. Awards are usually made in terms of the number of weeks of compensation the employee is entitled to based on the extent of the disabling injury. Informal conferences, which is non-binding mediation between the injured worker, an insurance representative, and a Commissioner or claims mediator, are often held in an effort to settle permanent partial disability claims.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If the employee is injured and is able to work, but at a job that pays less than his previous job, the employee is entitled to recover 2/3 of the difference in his average weekly wage prior to the accident and his average weekly wage after the accident. The employee is entitled to no more than 340 weeks of compensation at this rate. However, the compensation amount cannot be more than the average weekly wage for the State.
A worker who is temporarily disabled is generally awarded based on the number of weeks in which the individual could not work (see "Lost Wages" above).
The Lovely Law Firm can assist you in gaining the compensation available for your given situation. Myrtle Beach injury lawyers Justin M. Lovely and Amy S. Lawrence handle job injury cases and can answer your questions.
Contact Us to discuss your job injury and possible compensation available.
If an individual dies as a result of an injury obtained while at work, the individuals' survivors may be entitled to compensation. Dependents of the deceased individual are entitled to as much as 2/3 of the individual's earnings for 500 weeks. This can help pay for things like funeral expenses.
How Soon Do You Receive SC Workers’ Compensation Payments?
If your Workers' Compensation claim is approved, expect to wait approximately one to two months before you receive monetary compensation.
Injured at Work? Let Us Help You Today!
It is important to act immediately if you have been injured on the job, as injuries must be reported to your employer within 90 days. Additionally, a workers' compensation claim must be filed within two years of the injury in order to be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
If you need assistance in filing a workers' compensation claim, the dedicated attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm are here to help you receive the benefits you deserve. The firm works these cases up and handles the later workers' compensation settlements. To schedule a case evaluation at no charge, please call (843) 839-4111.
Why Are Claims Denied by the Workers' Compensation Commission?
What happens when your benefits are denied or terminated, you can't file suit, and now you are left paying the medical bills? If this happened to you, you may feel used and abandoned by your employer.
In addition to delaying in notifying your employer (this must be done within 90 days - see above), there are other things that can result in denial of your workers' comp claim in SC. While most employers in South Carolina are mandated to provide workers' compensation coverage, some employers and insurance companies dispute the claims that are submitted by injured or ill employees. Some common arguments that are raised by employers and insurance carriers include the following:
- Your illness is not work-related;
- The worker didn't file the claim soon enough;
- The worker doesn't need medical care;
- The injury didn't really happen at work;
- Your injuries resulted from a pre-existing condition/injury;
- The worker is injured as a result of their own intoxication;
- There was horseplay;
- The worker was acting as the aggressor during an altercation;
- You are able to return to your job (time away from work isn't medically necessary); and
- The type of medical treatment that you claim to need is not required by your illness or injury.
If this happens, you will find yourself up against professionals who have fought many claims like yours. Insurance companies have many attorneys who fight workers' compensation claims. You will have to struggle to prove your claim in an unfamiliar, complicated, bureaucratic process.
It is important for you to have experienced workers' compensation attorneys to fight for you when you have been injured or sickened at your job. This is why you should contact your worker's comp attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
Get Help From the SC Workers' Compensation Attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm
The workers' compensation system is complicated and difficult to navigate. When you have been hurt at work, it is important for you to retain an experienced lawyer to represent your interests. The attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm can advocate for you with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Myrtle Beach.
What Our Clients Have to Say on Google:
I was an unfortunate victim of a work place accident. The Lovely Law Firm has made me feel not just comfortable in confiding in them, but like I am a member of their own family. The paralegal working on my case (Ms Yaritza Tinoco)- is especially attentive. Anytime I call or email, she is right on top of things. I know I am in good hands with this firm, and they work with the client's interest in their hearts, not just money, money, money like some law firms. I would HIGHLY recommend this firm to anyone needing legal assistance! Thank You!
Who Does SC Workers' Compensation Cover?
With limited exceptions, every individual who is employed in South Carolina is covered by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, which means that his or her employer must maintain insurance that is sufficient to pay compensation in the event of a work-related injury.
Examples of individuals who are not entitled to workers' compensation include:
- Railroad employees;
- Federal employees who work in South Carolina;
- Individuals who work for a company with less than four employees;
- Real estate agents working on a commission basis;
- Elected corporate officers; and
- Agricultural workers.
Workers' Comp insurance cost is affordable, so the premiums are not an issue. Employees include full-time adult workers and part-time minors. Workers' Compensation insurance also covers seasonal workers. A sole proprietor in South Carolina is not required to obtain Workers' Compensation insurance coverage. But a sole proprietor is legally permitted to have Workers' Compensation insurance. Employers with minimal payrolls are not legally obligated to have Workers' Compensation insurance coverage in South Carolina. Consequently, you may not have access to Workers' Compensation benefits if you work for a small company with an equally sparse payroll.
Can I Sue My Employer?
You are not permitted to file a Workers' Compensation lawsuit against a business located in South Carolina. Instead, you can file a claim against a third party who was directly responsible for your injury by using a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina near you (which we also are). Many incidents are caused by individuals who do not work for a business. A civil case filed against a third party may include a supervisor who is an independent contractor, a company that manufactured defective equipment, a driver, or a public utility company. You have the right to file a third-party accident claim that occurred in the workplace if a personal injury lawyer agrees to accept you as a client.
What's the History of South Carolina's Workers Compensation System?
Whether you live in South Carolina or another state within the United States, you have specific Workers' Compensation insurance rights. In 1908, the United States Congress approved the Workers' Compensation Act for all federal employees. Since that time, every state has developed its own rules governing Workers' Compensation regulations. These rules explicate Workers' Compensation rights for employees and legal requirements for employers. The South Carolina Workers Compensation System handles your on-the-job injury claim. South Carolina created an administrative agency to handle on-the-job injuries in 1935. Before the South Carolina Worker's Compensation Commission was formed, employees could only get compensation by traditional legal methods. This meant civil suits in the court system. The employee had to prove their injury occurred because of the negligence of the employer. This was bad for employees because the burden of proof was on them. An employee would have to wait while his case proceeded in Court. This meant a long time without compensation. This was also bad for employers because of the possibility of huge verdicts.
The South Carolina Worker's Compensation Commission now exclusively handles all accidents that occur on the job. The Act provides the exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries in South Carolina. The Act has had several amendments through the years. The Act and its regulations govern the South Carolina workers' compensation system. Case Law also will determine certain aspects of your claim.
The Lovely Law Firm handles Worker's Compensation issues in the Myrtle Beach, SC and Conway, SC areas. If you have been hurt on the job call the injury attorneys at (843) 839-4111 to discuss your job injury claim.
Does SC Workers' Compensation Pay for Vocational Rehabilitation?
South Carolina's no-fault workers' compensation system helps thousands of people get the medical care they need and continue paying their bills while they recover from workplace injuries.
Ideally, workers return to their old jobs as soon as they are able.
But, sometimes a workplace injury leaves a worker unable to return to the same job. For example, a severe repetitive motion injury could leave a factory worker unable to perform the tasks that led to the injury, or a back injury could lead to chronic pain that makes it impossible for a construction worker to continue lifting heavy materials.
When this happens, workers are usually eligible for help finding a new line of work through vocational rehabilitation services in SC.
How Can SC Vocational Rehabilitation Help?
Vocational rehabilitation ("voc rehab") professionals help workers identify limitations caused by their injuries, access technological support to help them function with those limitations, determine what job skills they already have, and acquire any new skills that are needed to start a new job.
The kinds of injuries that sideline workers often require long-term management that could include physical therapy or surgeries. Voc rehab professionals can help determine what kind of treatment is needed and ease the process of accessing treatment.
Voc rehab also determines if there is a need for assistive devices which could include anything from crutches or wheelchairs for leg or back injuries to special computer software designed to provide cognitive assistance to people who have suffered job-related brain injuries.
SC Vocational rehabilitation professionals help injured workers find career options that are practical considering the limitations caused by their injury. An assessment determines what kind of new job would be a good fit based on the worker's education, skills, and qualifications.
When it comes to landing a new job, voc rehab tries to make the change as smooth as possible. Voc rehab will usually try to help injured workers find a different position with the same employer. When that is not possible, they provide job-search assistance with services like helping to prepare resumes and arrange interviews.
How Can My SC Workers' Comp Attorney Help?
Employers and insurance companies often try to deny SC workers' compensation claims or offer minimal compensation that doesn't cover everything that you need.
Remember that, although SC workers' comp laws are supposed to protect you, the insurance company will do everything possible to avoid paying benefits. They are in the business of making as much money as possible, not helping injured workers. This means that they are looking for any loophole, mistake that you made in your paperwork, statement that you made… anything that will allow them to avoid paying benefits and put your medical costs in their own pockets.
It makes sense to get your SC workers' comp attorney involved from day one.
Your South Carolina workers' comp attorney can help you to:
- Submit your claim with the proper documentation;
- Gather your medical records and the evidence that you need to prove your claim;
- Negotiate a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you;
- Fight for your benefits in workers' compensation commission hearings; and
- Appeal any adverse or unfair rulings.
If you need vocational rehabilitation services, your attorney will help to ensure that voc rehab is a part of your workers' comp settlement, so you can get back to work.
Your Myrtle Beach workers' comp attorney will help you to ensure that all services that you need and that are compensable are a part of your workers' comp settlement.
What if My SC Workers' Compensation Benefits Were Terminated?
Even after your workers' comp claim is approved, the insurance company will continue to look for reasons to terminate your benefits.
Often, benefits are appropriately terminated when they are no longer needed. But, if they are wrongly terminated, your SC workers' comp lawyer can help you to appeal the decision and present evidence that shows why your benefits should continue.
Benefits can be terminated for many different reasons, but the most common include:
- You return to work for at least 15 days;
- You sign paperwork that says you can return to work;
- Your doctor declares that you can return to work; and
- Investigations by your employer or the insurance company make them believe that you can work.
Believe it or not, workers' comp insurance companies in SC routinely employ investigators to put injured workers under surveillance. The investigators will sometimes return to their bosses triumphantly displaying photos or videos of you raking the leaves, mowing the grass, or playing in the yard with your children.
Whether the insurance company is terminating your claim based on surveillance or based on a report from their doctor, their information is often taken out of context. When they are wrong, you may need your own expert testimony to counter their allegations and prove to the commission that your injury prevents or limits your employment.
At the Lovely Law Firm, we help injured workers get the benefits that they desperately need, and we fight insurance companies who would deny your benefits in the interest of profits.
If you need help filing your workers' compensation claim, negotiating your claim, or appealing an unfair termination of your benefits, call us at (843) 839-4111 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Can Marijuana or Opioid Use Result in Denial of Workers' Comp Benefits in SC?
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the opioid crisis. Millions of Americans have been prescribed pain medications - often long-term - despite a lack of evidence that they are an effective treatment for chronic pain. As a consequence, thousands of these patients have become addicted and many have died of overdoses. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has suggested that opioid addiction may be partly to blame for an increase in the number of working-age men who don't work.
With more and more states legalizing medical marijuana, a popular question is whether marijuana can be an effective substitute for opioid prescriptions. Then the question becomes, "Can medical marijuana in SC be incorporated into the workers' compensation system?"
In states where medical marijuana has been legalized, some pain patients have actually turned down opioids, opting instead for a cannabis prescription. Others have used marijuana to drastically decrease their use of opioids. Some medical professionals now wonder if turning to marijuana instead of opioids might be the answer to effectively manage pain while avoiding addiction. This could help alleviate the workforce problems caused by opioids. For example, people who are injured on the job may be able to return to work more quickly if they treat their pain with marijuana rather than opioids.
But there is just one problem - marijuana is illegal under federal law. And, while 28 states have legalized medical marijuana, many states - including South Carolina – still arrest and jail people who possess it.
If you're using marijuana (illegally) to treat pain and you get hurt on the job, can you still file a workers' compensation claim in South Carolina? You can, and you may get benefits, but you have still opened yourself up to the possibility of a denial. Your employer could require you to take a drug test. Your employer could then try to deny the claim based on a positive test result.
But, a positive drug test alone cannot prevent you from receiving workers' compensation benefits, unless your employer can prove that you were intoxicated at the time of your injury and your intoxication led to your injury.
South Carolina uses a no-fault workers' compensation system. If you were injured at work, you do not need to provide any evidence that your employer was responsible for your injury. The law in South Carolina stipulates that there is no burden of proof for filing a Workers' Compensation claim. Unlike car insurance companies, who spend a lot of time and effort determining who is at fault in a car accident before making a payout, the state doesn't care who is to blame for a workplace injury. If you are injured at work and your employer has workers' compensation insurance, you can collect even if your injury is the result of your own negligence.
However, if you are impaired by alcohol or other drugs at the time of your injury, your benefits may be denied.
Injured on the Job? We’re Here to Help!
If you have been injured at your place of employment, it is important to act immediately, as an injury must be reported to your employer within 90 days. In addition, in order to receive benefits from workers’ compensation, a claim must be filed within two years.
The process of filing workers' compensation claims is complicated, but doesn’t have to be dealt with alone. The experienced attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm are happy to assist you with your claim. Schedule a free case evaluation by contacting us here or by calling (843) 839-4111.