Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, employees injured while on the job, or otherwise as the result of employment, are entitled to compensation for any resulting injuries.
At Anastopoulo Law Firm, we understand that South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws can be complex, so we’ve set up a workers’ compensation FAQ page to answer your most frequently asked questions.
Which Employees Are Covered Under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Law?
Any employee who has suffered a job-related illness or injury is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, provided that their employer has workers’ compensation insurance and participates in this program.
Certain exceptions do apply on who can file for workers’ compensation, though. For example, unpaid volunteers and others who perform work without payment are not entitled to receive compensation benefits. Other examples include independent contractors and federal employees, who must apply for federal-level workers’ compensation instead of state-level.
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How and When Should I Report an Injury I Suffered While on the Job?
Report all sustained injuries to your employer as soon as the injury occurs and immediately request medical treatment following the injury. Those who do not report their injury within 90 days following an accident may be unable to access workers’ compensation benefits.
It is important to note that though an injury must be reported within 90 days, you still have two years following your accident to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the state of South Carolina.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You can file a workers’ compensation claim personally when:
- Your employer does not report the accident that occurred.
- Your employer denies that you sustained an injury as the result of a work-related accident.
- The amount of benefits you received is in dispute.
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim, you must submit specific forms to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SC WCC). If you are unsure whether you qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim, our legal team can review your case, then help you file appropriate documentation to the WCC in South Carolina to begin the claims process.
What Are the Different Workers’ Compensation Benefits That I Can Access?
Workers’ compensation benefits provide all medical treatment necessary to assist in the treatment and lessening of a resulting disability. Workers’ compensation benefits can typically be used to pay for:
- Medical supplies
- Drug prescriptions
- Prosthetic devices
Beyond compensation for your medical expenses, you can also pursue compensation to cover two-thirds of your average weekly earnings and vocational rehabilitation. If you suffered a disability, your benefits may also include lost wages based on the type of disability you developed, be it permanent or temporary.
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Is There a Specific Medical Professional That I Should See to Access My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In order to receive your workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to be seen by a medical professional designated by either your employer or your employer’s insurance representative.
In some cases, you may be able to choose a physician from the network that your employer’s insurance covers, but ultimately, you must see an approved physician. Our lawyers can help you choose a physician if you are unsure about how to get treatment without affecting your workers’ compensation case.
How Is the Workers’ Compensation Benefits Rate Determined?
The workers’ compensation rate is set at 66 ⅔ percent of a worker’s average weekly wages based on the previous four employment quarters before the injury was sustained. However, the compensation received cannot be greater than the maximum average weekly wage amount, set annually by South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce.
Can I Receive Compensation for Time That I Miss From Work Because of My Injury?
Before receiving workers’ compensation benefits there is a seven-day waiting period. If you are unable to work for more than seven days, workers’ compensation benefits will be dispersed by your employer’s insurance provider.
For those unable to work for over 14 days, compensation can be obtained for all of the days you have been unable to work and should continue until your doctor clears you to return to work.
Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover Pain and Suffering Damages?
No. Workers’ compensation benefits generally cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation
If you would like to pursue compensation for the pain and suffering you endured because of your work-related injury, you may want to look into whether you qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Other Parties May Be Named As a Liable Party in Your Personal Injury Case
Employees are not allowed to sue their employers; however, if other parties contributed to your injury, you would have grounds to file a lawsuit against those parties. These parties might include:
- Manufacturing companies who built the work-related equipment that caused your injury if a defect caused the accident
- Coworker(s) who contributed to the cause of your injury due to negligence
- Third-party individuals unrelated to your workplace, such as another driver who hit your work vehicle
Our legal team can look into whether other parties might hold liability for your damages, then help you file a case against them through civil court.
How Can a Lawyer From Anastopoulo Law Firm Help Me with My Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you have never filed for workers’ compensation benefits before, our legal team can guide you through this process and help you by:
- Reviewing the facts surrounding your work-related accident
- Collecting evidence to support your workers’ compensation claim, such as medical records and video footage of the accident
- Appearing in legal hearings about your case to petition for compensation on your behalf
- Handling communications from your employer, their insurance company, and other inquiring parties
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, our legal team can also file an appeal on your behalf and navigate the appeals process as your legal representative. One of our lawyers can reorganize your case file as necessary and present your case to an Administrative Law Judge and subsequent Court of Appeals on your behalf.
How Do I Start Working with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
If you would like to have a workers’ compensation lawyer from Anastopoulo Law Firm help you with your case, you can call us at (800) 777-7777 for a free case review to discuss details about your situation.
Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, and our fees get paid through retroactive workers’ compensation payments you should have received after being injured. We can discuss this process more during your consultation.