Posts Tagged ‘attorney’

Injured on the Job? Here Are Some Answers

Injured on the Job? Here Are Some Answers

How Long Do I have to Report a Workers Comp Injury?

Under South Carolina Law you have 90 days to report an injury from the date you knew, or should have known, you had the injury.  Repetitive Trauma cases like carpal tunnel or others can be tricky as to the 90 day requirement. Note: the longer you wait to report any injury the more likely it is the insurance company will use the delay against you.

How Long Do I have to File  a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?

In South Carolina you have two (2) years to file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is NOT the same as reporting it to your job or to the insurance company. You MUST establish a claim with the Workers Comp Commission in Columbia, SC. 

My Employer Says He Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance. What do I do?

If an employer has 4 or more regularly employed workers then he/she must carry workers comp insurance coverage.  If they do not, then there is a State Fund set up to pay these claims and the employer will have to reimburse that Fund for your on the job injury.  You are still protected but will likely need a lawyer to assist.

My Employer Says I am an independent Contractor So I don’t get Workers Comp. Is this true?

Depends.  Many employers think that simply because they pay someone under a 1099 form that makes them an independent contractor. This is not true.  There is a test in South Carolina to determine if you are in fact an independent contractor (no comp) or a statutory employer (yes comp) and all centers around your boss’s control of you.  The 4 factors are:

  1. Direct Evidence of Right or Exercise of Control- I.e. Who sets work schedule, who tells you where to go, who tells you what to do, etc.
  2. Method of Payment- Cash, Check
  3. Furnishing of Equipment or Tools
  4. Right to Fire The Injured Worker

Who Pays My Medical Care for an On the Job Injury?

If the claim is accepted then the insurance company “should” pay 100% of all casually related authorized medical care. This means any doctors they send you to that they should pay the bill. If you are getting an invoice for any amount this may not be correct.

Can I Pick My Own Doctor?

Not if you want workers’ comp to pay the bill.  If it is an admitted case then you have must go to their doctor in order to have that bill paid. I am of the mindset you are always entitled to go to your own doctor but don’t expect that bill to be paid by the workers comp insurance carrier.

What if I have Other Questions that Aren’t Answered here?

That’s easy.  Schedule a free workers comp injury consultation where I will personally sit down with you and answer all of your questions.

I’ve Been Injured at Work. What do I do?

I’ve Been Injured at Work. What do I do?

When people are injured on the job they are not thinking about their workers’ compensation claim and how to protect their legal rights. Instead they are worried about their health and their injury.  The worker who gets injured on the job is now placed in an unfamiliar system dominated by big business and the insurance industry.  Below are a few things that one may wish to do or consider after a work injury. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list and the proper course of action should be to get a free consultation with an experienced South Carolina Workers’ Comp lawyer.

Report the Job Injury

In South Carolina you have 90 days to report an injury on the job. However, if you wait this long then the insurance company or the employer may not believe you were injured on the job.  Many workers get injured and think it is minor and don’t want to file a claim so they wait to report.  Don’t wait!  You can report it right away and it doesn’t mean you have to pursue the claim. It simply protects you. As a lawyer, I like it in writing if possible. Too many times a supervisor “cannot remember‘ the worker reporting the injury.  It is very easy to send a text message or email to your boss. “hey I just hurt my back lifting a crate”.  Simple, to the point and covers you in the event memory fades.

Request Medical Care

In South Carolina an employer or carrier is supposed to send you for medical care but lately I have seen a trend where the position is taken that the injured worker didn’t request medical care.  If you have been injured at work and think you need to see a doctor then ask for it- “I injured my back lifting a crate. I’d like to see a doctor. Will you send me to one?”  Remember in South Carolina the employer or the insurance carrier has the right to pick the doctor so if you go on your own to the doctor without letting them know you could be stuck with that medical bill.

Pay Attention to ALL Body Parts

So many times people have multiple injuries but one hurts the worst so they focus on that injury.  I injured my back lifting a crate but the pain goes down their legs and they don’t report it. Instead state I hurt my back lifting at work and the pain goes down my legs. That way you are fully protected as to all of your injured body parts.

Medical Records Tell the Story

Many times an employee says he/she was hurt at work and the employer says that the employee was not.  Most times a workers’ comp Commissioner will look to the medical records and specifically the first record(s) to see what the injured worker reported. If there is no mention of a work injury then that can harm the case. Your  medical records should always say how you were injured and what (list all) body parts you injured.

Get a Free Consultation with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Many lawyers (like us) offer a free consultation.  Take advantage of this to discuss your claim.  See if you meet with an actual lawyer or instead the lawyer sends an “intake specialist” or an “investigator”.   See if the meeting is a sales pitch and an attempt to get your case or see if the lawyer is actually discussing the facts of your case and answering your questions. You have nothing to lose by at least finding out your rights so do not wait. Schedule this free meeting now.

Can I file a Workers’ Comp Claim if I was at Fault?

Greenville and Columbia Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Fault doesn’t Matter  in Workers’ Comp

I used to represent insurance carriers and now I represent injured people all over the State of South Carolina.  One of the main questions I receive in a workers’ compensation claim is whether or not the injured worker can file a work comp claim if it was the employee’s fault. The other question is whether or not an injured worker can “sue” their employer because it was the employer’s fault for the injury. The short answer is that an insurance company  cannot deny your claim if the accident is your fault and you cannot sue your employer if it was their  fault.  The South Carolina Workers’ Comp system is a “no fault” system.

A “No Fault System” means whether the accident was due to an accident or due to an actual violation of a work safety rule it is still a compensable (work related) accident under the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act. The fault of an injured worker should have no bearing on the right to benefits. See the case of   Jones v. Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick, 376 S.C. 375, 656 S.E.2d 772 (S.C. App. 2008).  Like every rule there are some exceptions: horseplay, substantial deviation, fighting, intentional injury, etc.

My Comp Case is Denied- Why?

Sometimes there really is not clear answer. We have clients that come to us with a  denied case with and without reason.  Generally speaking a work injury should be covered if it was in the scope of employment and in furtherance of company business.  Sometimes preexisting conditions are denied until a doctor says there was an aggravation. Sometimes work comp claims are denied “in order to investigate”.  And sometimes they are denied for no reason whatsoever.

An  Injury Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer that knows the South Carolina Workers Comp’  Act can assist you to make sure you get medical care, weekly wage benefits and possibly a  settlement at the end. Injury lawyers work on a contingency fee which  means if you don’t win your case and get money at the end then you wont owe them an attorney fee.  Why would you not take advantage of a workers comp free consultation?  Who is protecting you?

Passenger in Car Accident Rights

Passenger Rights in A Car Accident

WISTV.com in Columbia, SC is reporting that the South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly car accident crash on Interstate 26 near the Broad River Road exit in Richland County. Initial reports are that a driver of a motor vehicle was traveling eastbound when he/she over corrected and went off the roadway hitting several trees.  The passenger died on the scene.

Passengers Can Have Multiple Injury Claims

Sometimes in a South Carolina car accident where there are two or more cars involved in an accident then multiple drivers can share in the fault of the accident. One driver may be 30% at fault and the other 70% at fault.  If that is the case then a passenger could have claims against all drivers that had fault in the accident.  Passengers are generally innocent bystanders so to speak and blame is not assigned to them for the cause of the accident.   This is important because South Carolina has fairly low minimum level of insurance requirements.

What is the Required Amount of Insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina law requires that drivers maintain a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage in case of a car wreck. This means that if you are hurt there “should” be at least $25,000 on the at fault driver’s car.  When we are talking about paying medical bills this $25,000 can go quickly. If a passenger can file claims against multiple at fault drivers then the passenger may be able to have multiple insurance policies cover the injuries from the South Carolina car accident.

How to I Protect my Rights After a Car Crash?

Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to go over a persons rights following a Columbia or Greenville car accident.  What do you have to lose by at least speaking with someone to find out if you need a lawyer? Many lawyers, including this firm, will tell you whether or not it is worth your time to hire a lawyer to assist you.  Lawyers don’t get paid unless they recover money for you so it is usually in everyone’s best interest to make sure the case is worth bringing. If you or a loved one has been injured at work or in an accident, schedule a free car wreck consultation right now.