Filing for a workers compensation claim in South Carolina is a multi-stage process. Like many other states in the US, South Carolina requires all injured employees to file a claim following an injury. Upon notifying the employer, an injured employee is required to fill out one of two forms to the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission.
The process may seem easy, but it can get more complicated, especially of your primary application is denied and you need to apply for a hearing. You will need to know and comply with the deadlines to avoid being barred. Every step in the filing process must be taken carefully to avoid any faults that could lead to a rejection of your claim.
Notification of the Injury
Notifying your employer is an essential step when filing for a claim. This must be done within ninety days of the injury. However, it is advisable to give notice as soon as you are injured. Some exceptions to the rule may apply:
- The employer is already aware of the accident
- The employee is incapacitated and unable to report the injuries
- Employee was a victim of deceit by other parties
Injured employees have up to two years from the time of injury to file a claim. Some work-related injuries take some time to show up, such as repetitive trauma injuries and other occupational diseases. The clock begins to tick from the time the employee reasonably discovered the injuries or from the time of diagnosis.
Filling Out the Forms
This is a formality after notifying the employer of your injuries. Your employer will file a claim on your behalf with the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission. However, you can file if you think it is taking too long for benefits to come or if your employer fails to do so.
Fill out the form by giving all the details of the accident, including the date and nature of the injury. In the event of death, a family member may file the form.
Requesting a Workers Compensation Hearing
If your employer or insurance company rejects your claim, you are entitled to a hearing before the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission. The commissioner will listen to your version of the matter and determine the outcome. If the decision does not go your way and you are still not satisfied, you are entitled to appeal to a panel of experts, after which the matter may escalate to the state’s highest courts.
Hire a Work Comp Attorney to Represent You
Once your initial claim is contested, it is advisable to speak with a qualified Spartanburg workers compensation attorney to help you structure a stronger claim. Remember that the injuries may have a lifelong impact on your health and future ability to work, so you don’t want to play poker with your appeal. Your lawyer understands that your health is on the line and that you need a favorable outcome to help you rebuild your financial wellbeing following the injuries.