Practical Tips to Protect Your Workers' Compensation Benefits
On-the-job injuries and illnesses are a common occurrence, regardless of the field of employment you are in or the type of work you do. A work-related accident or dangerous condition can have serious impacts on your overall health, while also affecting other areas of life. You may be unable to perform certain duties or tasks that are a key part of your job description, and you may be unable to participate in family activities or hobbies you once enjoyed. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help with medical expenses and to compensate you for your losses, but you must take the appropriate steps to help ensure those benefits are protected.
Protecting Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to three million workers suffer job-related injuries and illnesses each year in the United States. For as many as half of these workers, their condition prevents them from working or restricts them from doing the type of work they previously engaged in. Under Title 42 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, these workers may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expenses, reimbursement for lost wages, and compensation for full or partial disabilities, provided they take the appropriate steps both in filing their claim and in following the proper procedures and guidelines for receiving care. The following are practical ways that can help you to get and maintain the compensation you deserve.
Communicate With Your Employer and Their Insurer
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) provides guidelines on what to do if you are injured or become ill on the job, and the first step towards getting the benefits you may be entitled to be to immediately report any injury or illness directly to your employer. It is vital to maintain communication with your employer as well as their insurer throughout the claims application process to help ensure your claim is filed in the appropriate manner and within the WCC timelines.
Communicate With Your Doctor and Follow All Instructions
In addition to reporting your injury or illness to your employer, you should seek medical attention for your condition as soon as possible. Your boss or manager will likely have a list of medical providers to be used in the event of on-the-job accidents or exposure to dangerous conditions, and you should be sure to follow all of the doctor’s recommendations in terms of treatment or follow-up care.
Keep Records of All Correspondence You Receive
Maintain diligent records in terms of communications between yourself and your employer, the WCC, and your medical providers. Make copies of any forms you have filled out and note the date they were submitted, and keep all receipts and paperwork you receive from the doctor or hospital.
Avoid Discussing Your Injury, Illness, or Benefits With Others
Avoid the temptation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim or your injury with friends or coworkers. Keep details regarding your treatment, prognosis, and the benefits you receive private, and be cautious about the types of comments or photos you are posting on social media.
Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or someone you care about suffers from an on-the-job injury or illness, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys can act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf. We can advise you on how to deal with issues that arise in these types of cases while assisting you in getting the benefits you deserve.