Workers Compensation in Rapid City, SD

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 Dakota 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 Rapid City, South Dakota workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Rapid City, South Dakota?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most Rapid City work-related injuries are caused by overexertion, falls, and equipment injuries. In addition, the South Dakota Safety Council found that transportation injuries result in the most work-related fatalities. The Rapid City industries with the most injuries are agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing. Other industries with high rates of injury are construction and private transportation. While some injuries are minor, many result in medical expenses and missed work.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Rapid City, South Dakota?

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. 

The Department of Labor Regulation for South Dakota does not require Rapid City employers to carry workers compensation insurance. However, employers can be sued for damages if they are not insured. Coverage is provided for medical care, death benefits, and some travel costs. In addition, mental injuries can be covered if they were caused by a covered physical injury. However, there must be clear and convincing proof that the physical injury caused the mental injury. If a Rapid City employee will miss more than seven days of work, they can receive compensation for lost wages. This compensation is 66% of regular wages, up to a maximum of $597 per week.

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 Rapid City, South Dakota 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 suffer an injury or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Rapid City, South Dakota healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured 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.

South Dakota Legislation requires Rapid City employees to provide written notice to their employer within three days of the injury. The employer then has seven days to report the injury to their insurance carrier. If coverage is fully or partially denied, the employee can file a petition for a hearing. The petition must be filed within two years of the denial.

Timeline and Other Information

There is no statutory limit to the length of time that workers compensation benefits can be paid in Rapid City. Therefore, partial and total disability benefits can be paid for the entire term of the disability. If there are any disputes, the injured employee can request additional benefits through the South Dakota Department of Labor Regulation. However, this claim must be made within three years of the date of the last payment.

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 Rapid City, South Dakota Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Rapid City, South Dakota, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer might ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or on your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Rapid Cityworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Rapid City, South Dakota

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Rapid City, South Dakota 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!

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