How To File A Workers’ Comp Claim In South Carolina
You find yourself injured after a work accident. Now what?
Employees injured at work or suffering from an employment related illness or disease (such as COPD) are entitled to receive workers’ comp claim benefits. The workers’ compensation in South Carolina is designed to help you cover your medical bill expenses related to your workplace injury. It’s also set up to pay for your disability benefits while you are unable to work.
Does your workplace offer workers’ comp benefits?
South Carolina employers with more than 4 employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees from work-related accidents. Most workers’ comp claim benefits are paid by the insurance company that covers your employer’s workers’ comp claims.
Finding Medical Care
After a workplace injury, there are 2 things you should prioritize above anything else. First, inform your employer ASAP of your injury. Second, seek immediate medical care to diagnose and treat your injury.
In an emergency, you should seek treatment at the nearest emergency room.
In a non-emergency situation, you need to notify your employer. Afterwards, seek treatment from a physician selected by your employer or your employer’s insurance company. This will ensure that your medical bills will be covered by workers’ comp claim. If you seek treatment from an unauthorized provider, workers’ comp may not cover your medical bills.
Reporting Your Injury To Your Employer
South Carolina law requires you to report your workplace injury to your employer within 90 days of when the injury occurred. As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended to inform your employer as soon as the injury happens, preferably before you seek medical treatment.
Filing A Claim
You may need to file a claim if your employer fails to report your injury for you or the insurance company refuses to pay your benefits. You can file your workers’ comp claim by filing Form 50. For help with Form 50 or more information about how to fill it out, you can call an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Form 50 needs to be filed within 2 years of your workplace accident or within 2 years of the diagnosis of your work-related illness/disease.
Box 13a of Form 50 will ask if you’d like to request a hearing. Your attorney may suggest that you check this box when you review the form with him/her. However, when you initially file Form 50, you’re not required to check this box. You may only need a hearing if there’s a disagreement between you and your employer or you and your employer’s insurance company. Hearings are usually schedule within 60 days after you submit the form. Your case will intially be heard and decided by one of seven commissioners.
Appealing a Decision
If you’re not satisfied by the decision made by the commissioner who hears your case, you are welcome to appeal the decision within 14 days. To file an appeal, you’ll need to submit Form 30. At this point, you may need the help of a workers’ comp attorney, like an expert from The Clardy Law Firm, to help bring you and your employer (or the employer’s insurance company) to a settlement agreement.
Within 30 days of an unsuccessful appeal, you may file a case in a South Carolina Circuit Court or with the South Carolina Supreme Court. If you reach this stage, it’s highly recommended to seek the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney. The court will make a final, non-appealable decision about your case.
For help with filing your workers’ comp claim or fighting for your right to benefits, contact The Clardy Law Firm, your trusted South Carolina personal injury lawyers. We specialize in workers’ compensation cases. Let us help you take the correct steps to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Call now to set up a consultation with one of our expert workers’ comp attorneys!