Mistakes You Can Avoid With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many injured workers who run into problems with their workers’ compensation claims have made an avoidable mistake. It can easily happen. After all, the South Carolina workers’ compensation system can be complex in many ways.
No one expects you to understand on your own the ins and outs of obtaining workers’ compensation. Instead, you should seek help from a lawyer who has years of experience in this area of the law.
When you work with Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., your lawyer will explain how the system works and advise you on how to avoid crucial mistakes with your workers’ compensation claim. These mistakes include:
Failing to report your accident.
You must report a workplace injury to your employer in a timely manner. In fact, you have 90 days to report an injury to your employer in order to maintain your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits (even though some employers may require immediate notice). Workers’ compensation comes from insurance that employers must obtain for their employees. So, your employer must know about your work-related injury or illness. Let your supervisor and/or human resources department know in writing what has happened to you right away.
Keeping information from your doctors.
Your workers’ compensation benefits are based on the fact that you have been injured or become ill. A doctor, usually one approved by your employer, will document your injury or illness and your recovery. You must explain to the doctor of record for your claim (and any other doctors you see) what has happened to you and how it affects you – even if it is a new doctor you are not familiar with.
Making mistakes or omissions on claim forms.
You will find that many forms are connected to a workers’ compensation claim. The forms ask for a lot of information you may not have at your fingertips. Still, the forms must be accurate and filed on time. Many workers’ compensation claims are initially rejected simply because of inaccurate or missing information. In this area, your attorney can play a vital role. The attorney can make sure all forms are accurate, complete and filed on time.
Failing to follow doctors’ orders.
Yes, it comes back to the doctor again. The objective of workers’ compensation is to help you recover from your injury or illness and return to work. If your doctor tells the workers’ compensation commission that you are not doing what is necessary to recover, you could lose your right to needed benefits. You need to attend doctor appointments when they are scheduled and follow instructions for medication and treatment, including rehabilitation therapy.
Failing to get a second opinion when warranted.
While you must see and cooperate with the doctor you are assigned (or choose from employer-approved medical professionals), you still have the right to a second opinion about your medical care and treatment and your readiness to return to work. Our attorneys can help you with these issues.
Not accepting work you can do.
When you have recovered well enough, you are expected to return to your job or to seek other employment. You may be able to perform your job just as you once did, or you may need to request reasonable accommodations for your changed abilities. You may need to change jobs, either with your old employer or in a new employment situation. If you are paid less because of a disability, you may qualify for reduced-earnings benefits to make up for your lost wages.
Seeking workers’ compensation benefits without an attorney.
It may be months or years before you fully recover from a serious workplace injury. You deserve to receive all of the benefits you are legally entitled to receive without having to fight you employer or their insurer for them.
The help of an attorney with a deep background in South Carolina’s worker’s compensation law can level the playing field for you.
Pursue a mistake-free workers’ compensation claim with the help of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C. We serve clients in Spartanburg, Greenville and throughout the Upstate. Contact us by phone or online to set up a free meeting to discuss your claim.