Workers Compensation in Sioux Falls, 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 Sioux Falls, SD workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Sioux Falls, South Dakota?

South Dakota joins a handful of states that do not report any nonfatal occupational injury data to the public. While that’s unfortunate, data from other sources paint a clear picture. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics says that 153,800 people worked full-time in Sioux Falls as of December 2020. The largest employers in the state; trade, transportation, and utilities who gave 21.5% of those individuals their paychecks. The average rate of illness or injury nationwide in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, was 3.4 out of 100.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Sioux Falls, 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.

Employers in Sioux Falls do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The vast majority of states require organizations to carry a workers’ compensation policy, except for South Dakota. While that’s alarming, the Department of Labor & Regulation highly recommends employers purchase coverage. It may sound alarming, but it’s true that decisions to approve or deny come directly from insurance companies. The organization that employs you couldn’t influence the decision if they wanted to.

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 Sioux Falls, SD 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 Sioux Falls, SD 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.

State law gives you three days from learning about your condition to give the First Report of Injury form to your employer. Should your employer fail to file a claim on your behalf, contact the Division of Labor and Management immediately. If you’re denied workers’ compensation benefits, you have two years to file a petition for hearing and appeal the decision. Every attempt will be made to avoid an appeals trial, but that may become necessary.

Timeline and Other Information

After the insurance company receives your claim, they have twenty days to approve or deny it. Like other states, a seven-day waiting period applies before you can receive reimbursements. If your recovery takes longer than a week, benefits begin based on the date of your injury. Different schedules apply for specific bodily injuries.  For example, the loss of a thumb provides a maximum of 50 weeks of compensation.

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 Sioux Falls, South Dakota Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

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

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Sioux Falls, South Dakota

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Sioux Falls, SD 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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