Posted on: February 21, 2013
One of the most common mistakes people make after a workplace injury is waiting to report the incident to their employer. Some think the injury isn’t that bad and wait to see if it will heal on its own, only to find out a few days or weeks later that it is more serious than they thought. Many do not tell their supervisors about the accident for fear of getting fired. Some just don’t know much about the claims process or the strict timeline for filing for workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ Compensation claims are time sensitive.
In the state of South Carolina, you only have 90 days to report your work injury to your employer. If you are involved in a workplace accident, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible. Do not try to shrug it off or try the “wait and see” approach. Even if it seems like a minor injury, you should have your employer file an incident report immediately after the accident. You may lose your opportunity to file a claim if you wait too long.
You may need to prove the time and place of your injury.
If you wait too long to file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company may try to say you got hurt at home after working hours, and could deny your claim. You will need to be able to prove when and where you were injured. The best way to do this is to file a report immediately after the incident; if you notify your employer while still at work, you may have witnesses to help you prove when and where the accident happened.
Some injuries develop over time.
If you have reported your injury to your employer within 90 days, in general, you have two years from the date of the accident to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are involved in a workplace accident but don’t see any immediate or life-threatening injuries, you may still have injuries that could develop over time, such as spine or joint problems, occupational diseases, or repetitive motion injuries. You may not feel like you need to see a doctor until several weeks, months, or even years later, at which point you may be past the deadline to file for workers’ comp benefits to pay for the medical bills incurred. It is for this reason that you should report your accident immediately, even if you don’t feel pain. You never know how you could feel in the future – and by then, it could be too late!
Make sure all paperwork is filed correctly, and on time.
Your employer should be responsible for completing the necessary paperwork for your workers’ compensation claim. It is important that your claim is filed correctly and provides all necessary information for evaluation by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission . If you believe your employer did not report your accident or filed your report incorrectly, you can speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about correctly filing the claim yourself. Failing to submit the necessary paperwork on time can be very detrimental to your case.
For more information about how to file for workers’ compensation benefits, please contact the knowledgeable attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.