You work hard to provide for your family. Being injured on the job can create financial and employment difficulties. A severe injury or death can cause a family to suffer financial devastation and create an overwhelming feeling of loss. Workers’ Compensation claims are often difficult and complex to handle. To be certain you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled such as medical treatment, lost wage compensation, reimbursement for mileage to and from the doctor, and permanent disability, it is advisable to seek legal advice. The West Ashley Workers Comp lawyers at Ayers Law are equipped to assist you and your family when you are injured at work.
Understanding Workers Compensation Claims
The injury may be the fault of your employer, another company’s safety violation, or the negligence of a third party, which could mean you would be entitled to additional compensation from the at-fault third party. Our West Ashley Workers Compensation attorneys will guide you through your workers’ compensation claim and any additional claim if you are entitled. We will work to obtain financial assistance for you and your family during this difficult time. On-the-job injuries may occur in a variety of ways. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits you must be injured while employed, doing a task required by your job and the injury must be a result of the employment. This includes chemical exposure and illnesses sustained while at work. Here are some additional potential causes and possible injuries:
- Equipment failure
- Lack of safety devices / safety equipment
- Exposure to dangerous, toxic or chemical substances
- Loss of limbs
- Wrongful death
- Closed head injury
- Mesothelioma / cancer
- Asthma / breathing disorders
- Lead paint
Third Party Claims From On The Job Injuries
On-the-job injuries can involve more than just a claim for workers’ compensation benefits from the injured worker’s employer. The negligence of employees of a third party, such as another subcontractor, can be a cause of the worker’s injury. The injured worker has the right to pursue a claim against the negligent third party. Additional types of damages are available to an injured worker that are not available under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, including pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Reasons for Denied Workers Compensation in SC
When someone in South Carolina is injured on the job, they’re entitled to workers compensation benefits under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Unfortunately, the insurance company responsible for administering the benefits on behalf of the employer doesn’t always cooperate when it comes to paying out the claim. Here are some common reasons that insurers deny workers’ compensation benefits for SC’s injured workers.
Insurers often try to deny injured workers’ claims on the basis of preexisting physical or medical conditions that they conclude could have set the stage for or contributed to the injury. Unfortunately in these situations, the preexisting condition could be unrelated to the injury. But because the injured worker had the condition prior to the injury, insurance companies frequently use this reason as grounds to deny honest people their claims.
Failure to give notice of the injury within ninety days
No compensation shall be payable unless such notice is given within ninety days after the occurrence of the accident or death, unless reasonable excuse is made to the satisfaction of the Commission and that the employer has not been prejudiced. This is yet another reason why it is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to make sure that all procedures are followed, otherwise the injured party may have no recourse in as short as ninety days.
Failure to file the claim within two years
If an injured worker waits more than 2 years to file a workers’ comp claim, that claim could very well be denied. That’s why it’s crucial that those injured while performing their jobs inform their employer and speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about what the best courses of action are in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
What to Do When You’ve Been Injured At Work
If you’ve been injured at work, here are some helpful tips to follow:
1. Report your injury to your employer
The best person to report your injury to is your immediate supervisor. If this person is unavailable report the injury to someone in a supervisory capacity as soon as possible. If you require or feel that you need medical treatment ask your employer where you should be seen. Most employers have a health care provider that they refer their injured employees to. If there is no designated health care provider then it is important to seek appropriate medical care on your own through either your family doctor or a hospital emergency room.
2. Explain to the health care provider that your injury was work related
While this may seem like an obvious step, it is often one that is overlooked. It’s imperative that you notify the facility providing treatment that you were injured on the job. This will help to document your claim and also gives the provider a heads up that this is a workers’ compensation claim.
3. Follow your physicians’ instructions.
If you are told that you are on restrictions follow the restrictions to the letter. Turn in a copy of your restrictions to your employer so they can provide you with a job within those restrictions if one is available. If you are written out of work you need to notify your employer as soon as possible and give them a copy of your work excuse.
By following these three easy steps you will hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls that can befall an injured worker and your injury will be properly reported. Even if you follow a diagram to the letter every case will have it’s own special situations and circumstances where an experienced attorney comes in handy.
The attorneys at Ayers Law have extensive experience in handling both workers’ compensation and third party claims and will take the time to explore any and all possibilities of a third party claim. Please get in touch with our West Ashley Workers Comp lawyers today for a free consultation.