Who Do I Report My Work-Related Injury To?
It is important to report any work-related injuries within 90 days of the incident. You should report the injury to your employer, through your supervisor or manager. You should report the injury in writing and keep a copy that is properly dated and signed by the employer. This will ensure that you have evidence of reporting the injury within the given time frame.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Your employer should report your accident to their workers’ compensation insurance provider to initiate the process of filing for workers’ compensation. If your employer fails to do this or denies that your injury occurred – or if you have not received all the benefits that are owed to you – you can file a workers’ compensation claim on your own. Simply submit Form 50 or 52 to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
What Treatments Will Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation typically covers any necessary and reasonable medical treatments that will improve your medical condition and minimize disability. This includes doctor visits, surgeries, medical supplies, rehabilitation, hospitalization and emergency care, prescriptions, prosthetic devices, and much more. You do need to seek treatment from employer approved physicians and specialists to ensure that your expenses are covered.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for Lost Wages?
Your compensation for lost wages covered by South Carolina workers’ compensation will be calculated at 66 2/3% of your average weekly wages. These payments are made while the authorized treating physician places you out of work and are called temporary total disability payments (often referred to as “TTD”). This will be determined based on the past four quarters before your injury occurred. However, there is a maximum average weekly wage which is set forth by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce every year, and you cannot receive more than this amount.
How Will I Be Compensated for Time Off Work?
If you are out of work for longer than seven days, then you will be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits from any further missed work. To be compensated for the first seven days, you must miss at least 14 days of work. You will receive payments for time off work until the doctor decides that you can be released to return to work.
Do I Have To Accept Light Duty Work?
If your doctor releases you to light duty work and your employer offers light duty work, then you do have to accept that work to remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your wages for this work are less than your former wages, then you will be compensated at 66 2/3% of the difference between former and current pay.
What Can I Do To Dispute Workers’ Compensation Decisions?
If you disagree with a decision made by your employer or workers’ compensation insurance provider, then you have a right to a hearing. This means that you can file a Form 50 from with the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Judicial Department to request a hearing. This is typically done when the employer does not report an accident or denies the injury.
What If I Have To Travel a Long Way to Appointments – Can I Be Reimbursed?
If you must travel a long way from home to reach your doctor or pharmacy, then you may be able to receive compensation for travel expenses. To be eligible for this coverage, you must have a round trip distance of greater than ten miles to get to and from the doctor or pharmacy. Your reimbursement will be set at the same rate that state employees are allowed for their mileage.
What If I Disagree With the Employer Approved Doctor?
If you don’t like the doctor that you have been referred to or if you disagree with his or her assessment of your injuries and abilities, then you can contact the workers’ compensation insurance provider to request a referral to another doctor for a second opinion. You can also request a hearing whenever there is any dispute by filing Form 50 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Whether you should hire an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim depends on the complexity of your injury and claim and whether there are any disputes regarding your fair treatment and deserved compensation. The best thing to do if you have any doubts is to seek a free consultation from a workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Double Aught Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how an attorney can help with your claim.
Bryan Ramey is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 27 years now. Bryan Ramey believes in representing the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.