Tragically, getting hurt on the job happens across all industries. Every day, hard working Americans will go to work and never come home the same. In 2019, 5,333 workers lost their lives because of work-related injuries. That’s the stark reality behind the most recent stats on workplace injuries and fatalities.
Workplace accidents can lead to stressful and agonizing injuries. If you’ve been hurt at your workplace, your life can change in an instant. You can feel overwhelmed, confused, and falling into darkness, and that there’s nowhere to turn. Injuries in the workplace put a lot of stress on individual workers and their families.
You may not have a clue how you will afford the medical bills, especially while being out of commission and unable to work and support your loved ones. It’s a double-whammy – you’re in agonizing pain and unable to work and earn the money you need to pay your bills. Don’t be intimidated. That’s when filing a workers’ compensation claim makes sense, and our Aiken workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
If you have suffered an injury on the job, were involved in a workplace accident, or have suffered an illness that resulted from your work, you may be entitled to several benefits, including a portion of your lost wages and medical bills. As experienced workers’ comp specialists, the Aiken workers’ compensation lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates can provide you with sophisticated legal knowledge in the area of workers’ compensation benefits as well as aggressive representation when necessary. We genuinely care about injured workers and offer free initial consultations to those in need.
Call (800) 693-7833 to speak to our Aiken, SC, workers’ compensation attorneys today.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers who sustain injuries, diseases, or illnesses on the job are entitled to financial benefits under the South Carolina workers’ compensation program. So, what is workers’ comp, exactly?
Workers’ compensation, sometimes referred to as workmen’s compensation or workers’ comp, is an insurance program put in place to provide wage replacement and medical payment if a worker is hurt at work. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law is an extremely important law that injured workers in South Carolina rely on for support.
Although some type of employers are exempt from recovering benefits through the workers’ compensation system, since it is a no-fault system, those required to carry it must provide you with benefits if you have been hurt without having to prove that the accident was anyone’s fault. Workers’ compensation entitles injured employees to the following benefits:
- Medical benefits
- Disability benefits
- Partial lost wages
It seems straightforward; unfortunately, some employers and their insurers can delay and deny benefits.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
Workplace accidents and injuries vary from job to job, but you should follow these guidelines regardless of the circumstances or settings of your workplace accident. The following actions will make sure you don’t make any mistakes and expedite you receiving your workers’ comp benefits:
- Tell your supervisor or employer about your workplace injury immediately. You have a limited window to report the injury.
- Complete an incident report form provided by your employer and retain a copy.
- Your employer must have provided you with their WC doctor. Seek medical attention from that doctor and follow the doctor’s instructions.
- Take photos of your injuries for your record.
- File your claim with the help of a trusted lawyer. Remember, employers required to carry workers’ comp have to pay when a claim is filed, so they do have the motivation to fight your claim.
- Rest and recuperate.
What Are the Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Sadly, workplace accidents and injuries are a common occurrence across all industries in the U.S., and many are still not falling short in preventing them from happening in the first place.
In addition to the physical and financial toll that victims suffer, job-related injuries can prove to be a massive drain on the victim’s mental state and family life. So, just how are these hard workers getting injured, and what are the most common types of injuries found in South Carolina workplaces today?
Some of the accidents and workplace injuries we see at the Ted A. Greve & Associates law firm include:
- Sprains and strains
- Open wound
- Slip and fall
- Tissue disorder
- Hearing loss
- Dorsopathies (spinal injuries)
- Accidents while traveling for work
- Construction accidents
- Accidents while operating machinery or tools
Why Should I Hire an Aiken Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Most workers’ compensation claims seem straightforward; that is, until the insurance company delays your claim or downright denies compensating a worker for a legitimate claim. Whether you think your claim will be straightforward or are facing a problem with filing your claim, it’s always best to hire a reputable Aiken workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can help when:
- Your claim has been denied
- Your injuries need long-term treatment, and there are questions regarding your long-term disability
- You have a pre-existing condition
- You’re not sure if you have a claim
Other benefits of working with our workers’ comp lawyer include:
- Case Preparation and Investigation: One benefit of having a lawyer is that you’ll be ready for a fight. If you don’t have a lawyer by your side, and the insurance company denies your claim, then chances are you will lose, even if your claim is as legitimate as they come. So why no tackle this process with an experienced attorney by your side?
- Connections With Other Professional: Another benefit of working with our law firm is the fact that we have established connections with investigators, forensic experts, and other connections that can be used to build your claim or appeal.
- Litigation: Whether your claim ends up in court or not, we’ve got you covered. Our attorneys prepare for every claim as if it will go to court.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Aiken Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Hiring an experienced Aiken workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to protect your rights. However, the cost of legal services may vary. Each law firm in Aiken and throughout South Carolina has a different method to determine the cost of hiring a workers’ comp lawyer, including hourly rate, retainer fee, and contingency fee.
At Ted A. Greve & Associates, we represent workplace injury victims on a contingency basis. The contingency fee is set at 33.3% or less of the total amount an injured worker recovers. Note that with the contingency fee, you only pay us after you recover compensation.
Call us at (800) 693-7833 to speak with our Aiken workers’ compensation lawyers and learn more about our fee arrangement.
What Should I Do if My South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
Quite often, we receive calls from clients throughout South Carolina who have had their workers’ compensation claims denied by the employer’s insurer. When this happens, don’t be intimidated into giving up!
It’s not uncommon for workers to get pushback from their employers and workers’ compensation insurers when they shouldn’t. Most employees in South Carolina are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. At Ted A. Greve & Associates, we can challenge the employer and insurer’s decision and get your claim back on track.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
No. South Carolina’s Human Affairs Law protects employees against discrimination and termination for opposing an unlawful discriminatory practice or filing for a workers’ compensation claim. This law prohibits any form of retaliation when it comes to any aspect of employment.
However, while an employee cannot be fired in retaliation, there are instances where an employer can fire an employee while he or she is still on workers’ compensation in SC. The burden of proof is on the injured employee to prove that their termination is retaliatory.
Are There Time Limits for Reporting or Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina?
Strict time limits apply for reporting and filing a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. Typically, an injured worker has 90 days from the date of the injury to report the injury to his or her employer and two years to file a claim for workers’ comp benefits.
Suppose a worker succumbs to a work-related illness or injuries and dies. In that case, the decedent workers’ dependents or parents (if there are no dependents) must file the workers’ comp claim within two years of the employee’s death to claim benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer in Aiken, South Carolina?
Typically, No. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law is the exclusive remedy for compensation for work-related injuries or death. Therefore, employees in SC cannot directly sue their employers for a workplace injury. Instead, an injured worker has the option to file a workman’s comp claim and receive benefits from their employers workers’ comp insurer.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law only allows employees to receive benefits through the workers’ comp benefits, not independent contractors.
What Are My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Worth?
Knowing the exact amount that you’re going to receive as benefits for your workers’ compensation is next to impossible! The amount an injured employee can recover will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury, days of missed work, and so on. Specifically, injured employees may be entitled to benefits for:
- Lost wages: South Carolina allows injured workers to receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the last 4 quarters.
- Medical expenses
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Total and permanent disability
There are other benefits such as vocational rehabilitation and travel reimbursement.
Call One of Our Aiken Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
You’re in pain, overwhelmed by South Carolina’s workers’ compensation claim process, and are struggling to pay your bills. We can help. At Ted A. Greve & Associates, we understand the stress you and your family are under and what a crisis that causes in your life. We provide free, no-obligation consultations and are here to protect your rights and get you the full benefits you’re entitled to in a timely manner.
Call us at (800) 693-7833 to get your free case evaluation today.