Claims & Benefits
Being hurt in a work accident or diagnosed with an occupational illness can be devastating. As injured workers and their families pick up the pieces, applying for workers’ compensation benefits can be essential to getting the financial support they need to recover.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system has been developed to provide financial assistance to injured workers, as well as families who have lost loved ones to fatal work accidents. However, this complex system can be difficult to navigate and, making mistakes along the way, including missing important deadlines, can cause people to lose out on the benefits they need and deserve.
At Chappell, Smith & Arden, our Workers’ Compensation lawyers in Columbia understand the nuances of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system and are skilled at efficiently guiding our clients through it. Focused on helping injured workers get the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled, our attorneys have a record of success when it comes to new benefit claims and appeals following wrongful denials or terminations of benefits.
Let our attorneys put our experience and skills to work helping you obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits following any work-related injury, accident or illness.
Workers’ Compensation Claims in South Carolina: What You Should Know
The following highlights some of the most important information to know about South Carolina Workers’ Compensation claims:
- Reporting workplace injuries – Individual employers may have specific requirements for how soon workplace injuries have to be reported to them (with some reporting deadlines being as short as 24 hours from when the accident or incident occurred). Per South Carolina law, however, injured workers have 90 days from the date of their accident or from the date on which their injury/illness was discovered to report it.
- Filing claims – Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in South Carolina starts with reporting the injury to an employer and requesting that the employer complete an incident report. Once this occurs, the employer should generally file a Workers’ Compensation claim on your behalf with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).1If an employer refuses to file this claim (because, for instance, the employer is disputing the injury), you can file your claim with the SCWCC.
- Seeing a doctor – When receiving medical treatment for workplace injuries, you are required to see a doctor selected by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider if you want your treatments to be covered by the provider. If you choose to see your own doctor (instead of one chosen by the insurer), you will typically have to pay for these medical bills on your own (rather than have them covered by the insurer).
- Getting treatments – The medical treatments covered by Workers’ Compensation can include any prescribed treatments necessary for your recovery. This can include (but may not be limited to) hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical therapy and medical devices/aids.
- Benefit amounts – Injured workers who are approved for Workers’ Compensation benefits are entitled to weekly benefits that are 2/3 of their average weekly earnings (up to a set maximum amount that is adjusted yearly by the South Carolina Employment Security Commission).
- When doctors, insurers and/or the SCWCC make mistakes – Unfortunately, doctors, insurance companies and/or the SCWCC do not always make the right calls with injured workers’ claims, sometimes (for instance) issuing the wrong diagnoses, wrongful denials or wrong benefit amounts. When this occurs, contacting one of our lawyers will be essential to overcoming these challenges and obtaining the benefits you deserve.
- Third-Party Liability Claims – If you were injured on the job, but your injury was caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be eligible to pursue compensation via a “third-party liability claim.” That means that in addition to the no-fault Workers’ Compensation benefits you are eligible for, you can also pursue a claim to recover compensation for your suffering. You must a file third-party liability claim in a timely manner as required by state law, and you must maintain thorough documentation of the injury and any medical treatments.
Contact a Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden
Call our firm at (803) 929-3600 or contact us online to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.