Getting hurt on the job can be devastating. If you’re the primary breadwinner for your family, it might mean losing work, losing income, high medical bills that you can’t pay, or worse. Many families have lost their cars, lost their homes, and even gone bankrupt due to a work injury. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re hurt in a workplace accident, you have rights. A South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help you fight for the benefits you deserve. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions clients ask us about their work injuries.
How Much Will I be Paid for My Injury?
Title 42 of the South Carolina Code governs how workers’ compensation claims are handled. Under the law, there is a comprehensive and detailed schedule of benefits to be paid, depending on the part of your body that was injured.
Do I Have to Report the Injury to My Employer?
Yes. Under South Carolina law, you must report the injury within 90 days. However, there are good reasons to report the injury immediately. Not reporting an injury is one of the surest ways to destroy your chances of being compensated.
Can I See My Own Doctor?
Usually no. The key is authorization. Workers’ compensation laws are designed to be a compromise. On one hand, workers’ compensation insurance is paid for by the employer to protect employees who get hurt at work. But it also shelters the employer from potential liability, because you cannot sue the employer the way you would a negligent party who caused your injuries. Therefore, the employer almost always will require you to be seen by an approved physician. However, there are doctors out there who will diminish even the most obvious claims. Therefore, you should discuss any negative findings with your attorney, as you may have a right to get a second opinion.
Do I Have to Prove the Employer Was Negligent?
Technically no. The whole concept of workers’ compensation is to provide compensation to workers who are hurt on the job. It is a sole remedy, meaning you cannot sue the employer in a typical civil court. In exchange for this, you also are not legally required to prove negligence. That said, decisions from the workers’ compensation commission are becoming increasingly more focused on issues that sound like negligence. It’s unfortunate, but it is becoming harder for injured workers to be compensated.
What Happens While I Wait for Compensation?
The law provides for temporary disability benefits. The sooner you contact an attorney and get an application filed, the sooner you might be able to initiate these payments. While they will not fully replace your income, they can help a great deal.
What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Injured workers are usually out of work, not earning income, and struggling with finances. At the David Aylor Law Offices, we understand this. We work on a contingent fee arrangement when handling workers’ compensation claims. This means our fee is ‘contingent’ upon you successfully recovering benefits for your injury. If we are not able to collect on your behalf, you owe us nothing. Call us today or visit us online 24/7 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.