The Workers’ Compensation Act in South Carolina provides compensation to employees who have been injured in the workplace. Workers may be entitled to collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability benefits
Under the current law, the Workers’ Compensation covers all medical expenses stemming from a work-related injury. Injured workers must seek treatment from a medical provider chosen by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company.
Those who choose their own doctor without the permission of the employer may be required to pay their own medical expenses. However, there are some circumstances where changing your current doctor or choosing one’s own doctor is permissible.
Workplace injures can be devastating. As a result, it is not uncommon for an employee to require immediate emergency care. For example, a construction worker who falls off a scaffold will, in most cases, require an ambulatory trip to the nearest emergency room.
Workers’ Compensation will generally make allowances for this even though the employer did not authorize the attending physician or the medical facility.
Employees do have a right to choose their own physician for their initial injury evaluation. However, those that do should be certain to tell their doctor that they were injured at work and plan to file a claim. Although this visit may not be covered by Workers’ Compensation, the doctor will mostly likely need to fill out the necessary forms to not only prove that an injury occurred at work but is severe enough to warrant a claim.
Can I Get a Second Opinion?
In some cases, a doctor may feel that an injury does not qualify for Workers’ Compensation. In this case, injured workers in South Carolina are entitled to a second opinion. This can be done in one of three ways:
- Contact the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier
- Request a hearing with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (Form 50)
- Contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney who can assist clients in obtaining quality medical care
What if I Do Not Find My Current Doctor’s Quality of Care Satisfactory?
Problems often arise when injured workers are not satisfied with the level of care that the required physician is providing. When this happens, it is possible to request a change of doctors. The worker must contact the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier and follow the required protocol to do so. Another qualified physician will most likely be assigned by the employer’s insurance company.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Injured Workers in South Carolina
If you have more questions regarding Workers’ Compensation or suffer from injuries due t-o a workplace accident, call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. A knowledgeable, experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer can assist with filing an initial claim, appealing denied claims, and investigating other avenues of compensation.
Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.