If you were injured on the job, South Carolina's Workers' Compensation system is designed to protect you. The insurance system that all South Carolina employers are required to pay into will cover all of your medical bills related to a workplace injury and will cover a portion of your lost wages in the event you have to miss work.While the system is designed to help and it does work, you have to be sure you handle your case right and follow the proper steps in order to get all the benefits you need and deserve.
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid in your South Carolina Workers' Comp case:
- Waiting If you were injured at work, don't wait to report the incident. A lot of employees who are hurt in minor accidents at work wait to see if they will heal on their own before reporting their accident. That's a big mistake for several reasons. First, South Carolina law requires employees to report incidences within a certain amount of time. Beyond that, while you wait for your injury to heal, it could actually be getting worse. And finally, waiting to report an injury can make your report seem less credible when you finally do come forward.
- Failing to report ongoing trauma There are a lot of workplace injuries that people don't think to report. If you have a repetitive trauma injury like carpal tunnel syndrome or a pre-existing condition that's aggravated by workplace activities, those can be ongoing issues that employees don't always associate with work. But you should think about your pain and decide if you can attribute it to work activity.
- Talking to your doctor before you report It's your responsibility to report your workplace injury to your employer under South Carolina Workers' Compensation law. Once you report an injury, your employer will send you to an assigned physician for initial consultation and treatment.
- Using your personal health insurance If you have health insurance, you might think it will be easier just to handle your workplace injury on your own. But there are a few problems with that. First, you probably have a deductible or co-pay and those bills can rack up quickly. Beyond that, however, your injury could be more severe or complicated than you realize and could potentially cause you trouble throughout your life. You will need Workers' Compensation to cover those long-term and ongoing expenses as well as compensate you for any missed work.