Georgetown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you suffered injuries at work, you might be entitled to compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. At Evans Moore, LLC, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the state workers’ compensation laws, and we know how to effectively pursue the maximum available payments to cover your lost income and medical expenses.
You shouldn’t have to face financial struggles when you’re unable to return to your job and trying to heal from your injuries. The Georgetown workers’ compensation lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC can advocate for your rights and fight for the benefits you deserve from the insurance company. We can file an initial claim, appeal a denied claim, or file a third-party lawsuit if someone other than your employer was responsible for the accident.
Call (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation to review your case and determine how we can help.
Common Injuries That Can Happen on the Job
You could suffer an injury in any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re operating heavy machinery or performing data entry – the conditions you’re exposed to at work could lead to an accident, leaving you with serious injuries. Following are common occupational hazards and the injuries they cause:
- Repetitive motion injury – Repetitive tasks put physical stress on specific body parts and can result in injuries, such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pulled muscle
- Nerve damage
- Toxic substances – Exposure to certain hazardous chemicals could cause disease or serious medical conditions. For example, construction workers often interface with asbestos, and that could lead to mesothelioma. Other common injuries resulting from toxic chemical exposure include:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Respiratory failure
- Falling from heights – Working high off the ground, on a ladder, crane, or elevated area, to name a few examples, is dangerous if the necessary safety equipment isn’t in place or if any equipment is defective. Injuries may range in severity, but many are serious and can lead to long-term problems, such as:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Explosions and fires – Defective gas lines, combustible materials, and open flames could cause a fire or lead to an explosion. Injuries suffered in these types of situations can include:
- Loss of hearing
- Internal injuries from inhaling smoke
- Slip/trip and fall – Worksites with damage, defects, or hazards could cause someone to fall and injure themselves. The most common injuries from slip and fall accidents are:
- Sprained ankle
- Cuts, wounds, and bruises
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Broken bones
- Fallen objects – Unsecured objects can fall onto someone walking underneath. Typically, head and neck injuries result from this type of accident.
You should contact Evans Moore, LLC immediately if you get hurt while performing your job duties. South Carolina laws require business owners to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage if they employ four or more employees. After the accident, you could file a claim to collect benefits, so you’re not financially responsible for your medical treatment and other expenses resulting from your injury.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation Insurance
When you apply for workers’ compensation benefits, there are two main types of benefits you could receive. Medical benefits will pay for the reasonable and necessary medical treatment you receive for the injury you sustained at work. Income benefits will replace a percentage of your lost income while you’re unable to return to your job.
Four types of income benefits are available, depending on the severity of your injury and the length of time you’ll be away from work:
Temporary partial disability – If you can still perform your job, but at a limited functional capacity, you might be entitled to these benefits. Since your injury prevents you from earning your usual wages, you could collect payments at two-thirds of the difference between the wages you earned before the accident and what you’re currently earning. You can continue to receive benefits for up to 340 weeks as long as you’re earning less income than you normally would.
Temporary total disability – If you can’t work at all due to your injury, you could collect benefit payments at two-thirds of your average weekly wages before the job-related accident occurred. Maximum compensation rates prohibit workers from receiving more than the legal limit in South Carolina. You’ll receive weekly payments until you can begin working again or your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is a recovery plateau. That means that your treating doctor believes that further medical intervention won’t do anything to improve your condition.
Permanent partial disability – If you suffered permanent loss of use of a specific body part, you could collect weekly payments at two-thirds of your wages before the disabling accident. The number of weeks you can collect these benefits will depend on the Scheduled Loss under South Carolina law. For example, the schedule allows benefit payments to continue for up to 70 weeks if the injured worker sustained a foot injury and lost 50% of that foot’s functional capacity.
Permanent total disability – Benefits are available to anyone who suffered a job-related injury and lost the use of more than one body part. If you can’t maintain employment in any job industry, you would be entitled to weekly payments at two-thirds of your pre-injury wages. Coverage would continue for up to 500 weeks as long as you can provide proof of your disabling condition.
How to Handle a Workplace Accident in South Carolina
Getting hurt on the job is a stressful experience for anyone to go through. If you make a mistake during the claims process, you could end up without the workers’ compensation benefits you need to supplement your income and pay for your treatment. Follow these steps to ensure you’re able to apply for benefits through your employer’s insurance company:
Notify your employer of the accident. Let your employer know that you sustained an injury while on the job. Be sure to do this in writing, so there’s evidence that you notified them. They should provide you with an application to complete that they can submit to their insurance company.
Fill out the application for benefits. If your employer doesn’t have an application, you can print one from the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission website. Fill it out completely and accurately. You should include specific information about the type of injury you suffered, your doctors’ names, and the physical or mental limitations resulting from the injury.
Seek medical treatment. Your employer or their insurance representative can choose the doctor you’re allowed to see if you want to receive medical benefits. You have the right to see someone that isn’t on their approved list, but you would have to pay out of pocket for those expenses.
Hire a lawyer. Contact Evans Moore, LLC immediately so we can begin working on your case.
Attend doctor’s appointments regularly. Treat your injuries with your doctors until you reach maximum medical improvement or make a full recovery. The insurance company requires evidence of your disability, and without sufficient medical records, they could deny your claim.
Maintain records. Keep a copy of every document regarding your injury, treatment, and other aspects of your case. We can submit everything to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company during the claims process to show you have a disabling condition that prevents you from working and deserve benefits.
You Are Entitled to File an Appeal if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
The insurance company could deny your claim for various reasons. It’s crucial to remember that just because they sent you a denial letter doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You could file an appeal to have a commissioner review your case and determine if they agree with the initial decision.
Avoiding certain pitfalls could prevent the insurance company from denying your initial workers’ compensation claim. The most common reasons for denied claims include:
- Missed deadline – You must inform your employer of your injury within 90 days. There are also strict deadlines for responding to the insurance company when they request additional documentation and for filing an appeal.
- No eyewitnesses – If anyone saw what happened, they could provide a statement for the insurance company. Witnesses can improve a person’s chance of recovering the benefits they need after a workplace accident.
- Lack of medical evidence – Missing documentation and incomplete records can negatively impact your claim. You should provide us with all doctors’ and facilities’ names, so we’re able to request copies of every record associated with your injury and treatment.
- Employer’s statement – Your employer will need to provide a statement to their insurance company after the accident. They could deny that you sustained the injury while performing your job duties. If they don’t agree with the facts of the case, you could end up with a denied claim.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we have the experience and resources to file an appeal and provide evidence of your right to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Having an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer on your side could greatly benefit you and the outcome of your case.
Evans Moore, LLC is ready to fight for the maximum workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. We won’t allow the insurance company or your employer to take advantage of you while we’re working on your case, and we’ll always help protect your best interests.
Call us at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation, and our Georgetown workers’ compensation lawyers will begin creating the right legal strategy to help you get the results you need.