What types of accidents are covered under Workers' Compensation?
In South Carolina, if you get hurt while performing work activities on the job you are entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits. Hence, injuries from falls, lifting heavy objects and work-related accidents are generally compensable. However, injuries from carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive trauma and from automobile collisions are also compensable in many situations. The lawyers at Popowski, Callas & Shirley, P.A. have experience in dealing with the issues that arise in workers' compensation cases and can assist you in determining if your claim is compensable.
What should I do when I get injured on the job?
You should immediately inform your supervisor and complete an accident report with your employer. Our law requires that notice be given to your employer, therefore telling your supervisor is important in protecting your rights. After reporting the accident your employer should send you to a doctor if your injury requires further medical attention. If the employer fails to provide medical attention our firm can file a claim on your behalf requesting that this care be provided.
What am I entitled to under the Workers' Compensation Act?
An employee is generally entitled to: a) medical treatment for his work-related injuries; b) pay for missed work and; c) a financial settlement at the conclusion of the case based on the permanent injuries sustained.
a) Medical treatment: an employee is entitled to medical treatment for his work-related injuries. The treatment is usually provided by a doctor chosen by the employer.
b) Temporary total benefits: if the employee is kept out of work by an authorized treating physician he may be entitled to receive wages during his absence from work. The benefits paid under workers' compensation are called temporary total benefits and are based on a percentage of wages earned by the employee over time.
c) Permanent disability: an employee may be entitled to compensation if he has sustained permanent injuries as a result of a work-related accident. The disability is based on many factors including an impairment rating given by a doctor, the educational background of the employee, as well as his age and other vocational factors.
What should I do if my claim is denied?
Unfortunately, some insurance carriers deny legitimate claims resulting in the injured employee not receiving medical treatment or payment of benefits while being kept out of work by the doctor. The reasons for this denial can be based on many reasons requiring an immediate response by the injured employee. Our attorneys are prepared to discuss the facts of your case with you, assess the issues involved in your denial, and take action to insure that your rights are protected under the Workers' Compensation Act.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
Generally, notice of an on-the-job accident must be given to an employer within 90 days of the accident. There are exceptions to the general rule when the Claimant has suffered harm from an occupational disease and the condition was not discovered until a later date. A claim for workers' compensation benefits must be filed within two years of the date of accident.
What if I do not like the doctor my employer has selected?
Although the employer has the right to select the physician to treat your injuries, you can request a second opinion if you disagree with the doctor's opinion or treatment plan. When this occurs, you can request a second opinion. If this is denied, a request for additional medical treatment can be made to the Workers' Compensation Commission or the injured employee can obtain an independent medical examination. Obviously, selection of the right doctor is an important component in a person's recovery. Additionally, a doctor determines the type of work the employee can do while undergoing treatment and the level of permanent impairment the employee has sustained as a result of the accident.