Workers Compensation in Columbia, SC
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by South Carolina state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Columbia, SC workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Columbia, South Carolina?
The South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that most work injuries are sprains, strains, and tears. However, cuts, punctures, and fractures are also common. These injuries are most often caused by falls, overexertion, or contact with objects or equipment. When it comes to work-related fatalities, truck drivers in the construction industry are at the highest risk.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Columbia, South Carolina?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
South Carolina businesses with four or more employees are required to carry workers compensation insurance. According to the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission, all medical treatment likely to lessen your disability will be covered. However, the treatment must be provided by a doctor chosen by the employer or insurance company. Additionally, travel expenses are covered if your provider is more than 10 miles away. If you will miss more than 7 days of work due to your injury, you can receive lost wage benefits.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Columbia, SC are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Columbia, SC healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines. Some of which are critical in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurs is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
If you are injured on the job in Columbia, there are two deadlines to be aware of. Firstly, you must notify your employer of the injury within 90 days. Secondly, you must file a claim with the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission. You have two years from the date or discovery of the injury to file this claim.
Timeline and Other Information
In most cases, the first compensation payment must be made within 14 days of the employer receiving notice of the injury or death. If you are missing work due to your injury, disability payments will continue until you are able to return to work. The benefit amount will be up to 66% of your average weekly wage, capped at $903 per week. For fatal injuries, survivors can receive up to 66% of the deceased employee’s wages for up to 500 weeks. There is also the possibility for payment of burial expenses.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Columbia, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Columbia, South Carolina, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Columbia workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Columbia, South Carolina
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Columbia, SC you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!