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.