Filing a workers’ compensation claim after your on-the-job accident involves multiple steps – and each must be followed carefully to ensure you receive the employee benefits you deserve.
Here in South Carolina, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that you’re entitled to a benefits package even if you’re partly to blame for your accident. Fault is not a factor, so whether a lapse in judgement or faulty equipment caused your on-the-job injury, you’re eligible for compensation.
But the process gets a little trickier if your employer denies your claim or disagrees about the workplace benefits you’re owed. They may try to deny that your injury occurred while you were on the clock, for instance. That’s when the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney is invaluable.
At Hoffman Law Firm, we know workers’ compensation law inside and out, and we’ll work hard to see justice done. Trust our injury lawyers to handle the heavy lifting, freeing you to focus on your recovery.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
If you’ve been hurt on the job, follow these steps:
1. Report your workplace injury immediately.
While you technically have 90 days to report your on-the-job injury, we recommend informing your employer immediately – even if you don’t think the injury is that serious. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you experience medical complications from your injury down the road.
2. Follow up to make sure your employer reports your injury to their workers’ compensation insurance company.
If they do not report your work-related injury, you have the right to file on your own with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your employer denies your claim or violates your rights in any way, request a hearing to address your case.
Be sure that your injury lawyer accompanies you to the hearing. They will serve as your advocate, advising you each step of the way. If a satisfactory conclusion is still not reached, your attorney may recommend filing an appeal.
3. Maintain detailed records.
Note the date, time and name of the person you speak to when reporting your workplace injury. Also, record the names and contact information of any co-workers who witnessed your on-the-job accident. Documentation is key throughout the process and could be extremely helpful later on.
4. Take photos of the accident scene.
If your workplace injury was the result of faulty equipment or a defective product/tool, make sure to get photo documentation. Request that the equipment is stored safely, and that other staff are made aware of the danger to prevent more injured workers. Also, take photos of your injury, including cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc.
5. Find out which doctor to visit.
Because your employer (or their workers compensation insurance carrier) gets to select your doctor, ask where to go to receive medical treatment for your injury. Workers’ compensation typically covers medical expenses such as surgery, hospital stays and prescriptions – but only if you receive medical treatment at an approved facility.
6. Receive medical treatment.
Inform your doctor that you were hurt on the job and be sure to take photos of any casts, braces or bandages applied. Inquire about any physical restrictions involved with your workplace injury, such as lifting or bending. Also, remember to ask for a written work excuse.
Your Workers’ Compensation Injury Lawyers
As you embark on the road to recovery, the trusted workers’ compensation attorneys at Hoffman Law Firm will get to work securing the benefits package you deserve. Our qualified team will guide you through the process, relying on years of experience with workers’ compensation programs and the regulations that govern them.
Our injury attorneys have fought for workplace accident victims in Charleston, SC and across the state of South Carolina – and we have a record of success to prove it. If you’ve been injured on the job, we’re here to help. To learn more about filing for workers’ compensation benefits or to schedule your free consultation, click here or call (843) 769-7077