We Seek Justice for Charleston, SC Work Accident Victims
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we understand the distress and uncertainty that comes with work-related injuries. Our experienced team of workers’ compensation attorneys in Charleston, SC is committed to navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation claims for you.
We recognize that the path to rightful compensation can be laden with legal difficulties and communication hurdles. Despite South Carolina’s workers’ compensation rates being slightly higher than the national average, many deserving individuals face denials or lack-luster benefits. Our mission is to bridge this gap, ensuring that each client is given a dedicated Charleston workers’ comp lawyer who will tirelessly advocate for their rightful benefits and help ease the financial and emotional strain that often accompanies workplace accidents.
Through personalized attention and a robust understanding of South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, we strive to bring peace of mind and justice to our clients in Charleston. Call us at 843-628-0100 today to schedule your free case review.
What Should You Do if You Are Injured at Work?
If you’re injured while working, acting promptly can greatly impact your ability to secure necessary workers’ comp benefits. First and foremost, make sure you report the incident to your employer without delay. In cases of severe injuries needing emergency care, prioritize medical attention, and inform your employer as soon as possible thereafter. Notifying your employer is a vital step, as it typically triggers the workers’ compensation claims process, setting you on the path towards obtaining your rightful benefits.
However, if you encounter a reluctance or failure on your employer’s part in filing a claim, engaging a dedicated Charleston workers’ compensation attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can be a prudent step to safeguard your interests and pursue the claim independently.
When To Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
It’s wise to recruit the aid of a skilled workers’ comp attorney in Charleston, SC at the earliest hint of complexity in your case—be it denial of your claim, delayed benefits, inadequate settlement offers, or employer retaliation post-claim.
An experienced attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help steer your claim through the bureaucratic hurdles, ensuring your medical bills and lost wages are justly compensated. While your immediate focus post-injury should be on medical care, consulting with an attorney as soon as possible can significantly strengthen your chances of a favorable settlement and a smoother pathway to your rightful workers’ compensation benefits.
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in Charleston, SC?
In Charleston, SC, the majority of employees are eligible for workers’ compensation should they encounter an injury or illness stemming from their work environment. South Carolina requires businesses with four or more regular employees to have workers’ compensation insurance in place, covering part-time workers and family members employed within the firm.
However, exclusions do exist; if you are a railroad worker, an agricultural employee, or work in a small business with fewer than four employees, you might fall outside the standard coverage. The eligibility criteria requires that your injury or illness occurred due to, or in the course of, your employment, and was not a result of deliberate self-harm.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our adept Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the process of securing your rightful benefits.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can You Receive?
Under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation in Charleston, SC extends three primary types of benefits:
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Recovery of some (not all) lost wages
- Compensation for permanent total disability and/or partial permanent disability.
It is important to understand that the South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
In more unfortunate circumstances, if a workplace accident results in a fatality, funeral and burial benefits are provided. You may be eligible for additional compensation by holding a third-party liable if it caused your injuries. Damages recovered as a result of pursuing a third-party could include:
- Medical expenses and lost wages not covered by workers’ comp
- Ongoing care costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury
- Pain and suffering damages
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we look into every possible avenue to secure a comprehensive financial safety net for our clients in Charleston, ensuring they receive the full spectrum of benefits they are entitled to.
Does Workers’ Comp Pay Full Salary in Charleston, SC?
In South Carolina, workers’ compensation does not cover the full salary of injured workers. You’ll typically be entitled to 66.67% of your average weekly earnings. However, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) imposes a cap on the amount one can receive weekly, and this cap is subject to change annually. Additionally, if you have multiple jobs, the average weekly earnings from your other job(s) may be factored into the calculation of your compensation.
Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Comp or for Filing Workers’ Comp?
In South Carolina, the law safeguards workers from termination for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It’s illegal for an employer to terminate an employee for filing workers’ comp, and it is labeled as retaliatory termination. Also, while on workers’ compensation, you can’t be let go from the job you’ve filed the claim with. However, if your injury results in an inability to perform your job, you may receive temporary total disability (TTD) payments, which are 2/3 of your pre-tax earnings, until a doctor deems you’ve reached MMI, or “maximum medical improvement.”
What Evidence Should You Gather for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Collecting substantial evidence is key for a strong workers’ comp claim. You should keep copies of:
- Medical records
- Any written notifications to your employer
- Paid and unpaid bills for medical treatments
- Pay stubs to prove lost wages
- Employment records
Consulting a proficient workers’ compensation attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can significantly aid in gathering and presenting relevant evidence, ensuring your claim is well supported.
How to Apply For Workers’ Compensation?
Typically, the process of filing for workers’ compensation is initiated by your employer through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). However, if your employer fails to report your accident, or if the insurance company denies your claim or underpays, you may need to take action.
In South Carolina, you can file a workers’ comp claim by completing and submitting Form 50 for work-related injuries or Form 52 for work-related deaths to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If a hearing is needed, indicate this on the claim form, and a commissioner will review your case. Should the outcome be unsatisfactory, you have the option to file an appeal for a panel review. Navigating this process can be intricate, and a minor error could jeopardize your claim, which is why consulting a skilled workers’ comp attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can be instrumental to guiding you through the process seamlessly.
What To Do if Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
A denial of your workers’ comp claim isn’t the end of the road. In South Carolina, you have the right to request a hearing and even make multiple appeals if necessary. It’s crucial to act swiftly by consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
The appeals process, overseen by an independent workers’ compensation commissioner, may present strict deadlines and demand persuasive evidence. While legal representation isn’t mandatory, going solo could place you at a disadvantage, especially since the employer or insurance company will likely have legal counsel.
How Long Do You Have To Report an Injury at Work in Charleston, SC?
It’s crucial to report any work-related injury to your employer immediately, ensuring you notify someone in a supervisory role. If you delay reporting your injury, it could jeopardize your claim. Acting swiftly not only safeguards your rights but sets the wheels in motion for receiving necessary medical attention and workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Does an Average Workers’ Comp Claim Take?
The duration of a workers’ comp claim process in South Carolina can vary significantly based on individual case factors. Initially, a mediation or an informal conference is conducted, and if an agreement isn’t reached, a formal hearing is scheduled within three to four months before a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The process could stretch further if multiple appeals are involved, potentially taking a year or longer to resolve fully. In some instances, a case could settle in less than six months, while in more complex scenarios, it could extend to as long as two years.
What To Do if Your Workers’ Comp Check Is Late or Not Coming In?
Receiving your workers’ comp checks in a timely manner is crucial, especially during a period of recovery when regular income is interrupted. If you experience a delay or non-receipt of your benefits checks after several weeks, it’s advisable to promptly consult with a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our adept attorneys can investigate the cause of the delay on your behalf and assist in speeding up the process.
What if You Can’t Return to Your Job After an Injury?
If a workplace injury leaves you unable to return to your job even after substantial recovery, several options can provide continued financial support. Long-term workers’ comp benefits, based on your pre-injury wage, could be one avenue, although your employer might request an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) after a specific period. Additionally, if the disability extends beyond work-related injuries, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits might be accessible, provided you’ve accumulated sufficient work credits over the years. Exploring unemployment or other disability benefits could also provide essential support.
In cases such as these, consult with a knowledgeable attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to navigate your options and secure the most robust support during such challenging times.
What Are Common Types of Accidents in the Workplace in Charleston, SC?
Despite safety measures, workplaces can sometimes be the scene of various injuries, some of which can have lasting impacts on the lives of employees. Common injuries include:
Each of these injuries presents its own set of challenges and may require different approaches in medical care and workers’ compensation claims.
What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Settlement in Charleston, SC?
The average workers’ comp settlement amount is not a standard figure as each case is unique with differing circumstances. Key factors like the type of injury, required treatments, and the resulting disability significantly influence the settlement value. In South Carolina, as of January 1, 2023, the maximum weekly compensation rate is $1,035.78. Though the national average settlement hovers around $20,000, settlements can range broadly from $2,000 to $40,000 or more, especially in severe injury cases. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to accurately navigate your specific case and aim for the best possible settlement.
What Should You Watch Out for When Dealing With the Workers’ Comp Adjuster?
Interacting with a workers’ comp adjuster can be a complex process as their primary goal is to save money for the insurance company. Here are some common workers’ comp adjuster tricks to be aware of when reporting your injury and beginning the negotiations for your benefits:
Understand Their Role: Workers’ comp adjusters aim to minimize the insurance company’s payout, which may involve questioning the validity of your claim even if they appear friendly.
Mind Your Words: Be cautious with your statements as they can be used against you to limit or deny your claim. Avoid mentioning previous unrelated injuries or incidents that might be misconstrued as the cause of your current condition.
Effective Communication: Maintain polite and persistent communication, ensuring to follow up in writing as needed. Don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance if communication becomes challenging.
Beware of High-Pressure Tactics: If an adjuster pressures you to accept an offer within a restricted time frame, it might indicate bad faith on their part.
Engage an Attorney: Enlisting a workers’ comp lawyer early in the process can help navigate the complexities of workers’ comp claims, ensuring fair treatment and securing the rightful benefits you deserve.
Can You Work While on Workers’ Compensation in Charleston?
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury in Charleston, it’s possible to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits under certain conditions. One scenario is light-duty work. With light-duty work your physician provides a release, and your employer may offer you a modified role with special job requirements, fewer hours, and possibly lower pay. In such cases, you’ll still receive a portion of your workers’ compensation benefits to make up for the wage difference.
You may work a second job while on workers’ compensation, provided you notify your previous employer and the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC) prior to starting the new job. It’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines to avoid any complications with your workers’ compensation benefits. Consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney in Charleston is advisable to ensure your actions align with all regulations and your benefits continue uninterrupted.
Will You Have To Undergo an Independent Medical Examination for Workers’ Compensation?
In South Carolina, if you’re claiming workers’ compensation, your employer or their insurance company may request you to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME). Although termed “independent,” the physician conducting the IME is hired by your employer or their insurance provider, which could potentially skew the assessment in favor of the employer. They could suggest your injury isn’t work-related or you’re fit to return to work without restrictions. Therefore, engaging a skilled workers’ compensation attorney early in the process can help protect your rights and prepare you adequately for the IME, ensuring a fair evaluation.
Will You Be Followed by a Workers’ Comp Investigator in Charleston, SC?
In Charleston, SC, it’s possible that you might be observed by a workers’ comp investigator, especially if you’ve suffered a serious injury. Insurance companies sometimes hire private investigators to scrutinize the activities of claimants. They’ll look for any discrepancies that might indicate fraud such as exaggeration of injuries or working while claiming total disability benefits. This surveillance can extend to social media, where posts or pictures could be taken out of context to challenge your claim. Being mindful of your public activities and online postings during a claim process is crucial, and consulting with a seasoned South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can provide additional protection and guidance.
Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys Are Ready To Serve Your Case in Charleston, SC
Obtaining adequate workers’ compensation benefits can be a complex process, and, in the midst of recovering from a workplace injury, it can be very stressful to handle everything on your own.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is ready to support you during this challenging time. We’ll explain your rights under South Carolina law, file a workers’ compensation claim, appeal a denial, and perform other necessary legal services. Our law firm has worked on over 50,000 cases, and we know what it takes to obtain just compensation for people injured on the job in Charleston.
Work injuries and workers’ comp claims happen often. Understand you are not alone in your struggle for benefits, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Get started with us by calling (843) 628-0100 so our attorneys can review your case for free, and start your journey towards getting the benefits you deserve.