A workers’ compensation (WC) claim can be a complicated and stressful process, and getting certain aspects of the process wrong could result in the denial of benefits that you deserve. The fact that workers’ compensation law is often complex can make these processes more complicated.
To help you through the process, we have listed below six points that every injured worker should know about the WC claim process:
You Must Report Your Injury
The first thing you must know is that you must report your injury to your employer. Your employer will not report your injury to you. In most cases, you will be required to fill out an accident report with your employer at the time of the injury. Remember, every accident no matter how small must be reported to your employer.
Timing is also very important when you get injured on the job. There is a statute of limitation to report and document your injury, which varies from state to state. For instance, According to South Carolina law, you must provide notification of the injury in 90 days. This implies you only have three months to notify your supervisor of your injury. If you are going to get your entitlement, then it starts with reporting your injury at the right time.
Worker Retaliation is Illegal
Worker retaliation is a serious issue that’s prevalent in the workplace. Many workers have been fired, demoted, or have had pay deductions due to a workers’ compensation claim. You should be aware that this type of behavior is illegal.
If you are the victim of workplace retaliation speak to an attorney about your options. Many times employees who are disciplined after filing for workers’ compensation benefits can seek remedies for the company’s actions from third parties, such as the employer or the insurance carrier.
Each State’s Workers’ Compensation Laws are Different
Each state in the union has its own workers’ compensation laws, with some being more favorable to injured workers than others. Some states’ workers’ compensation laws may even vary from county to county.
There are some general principles and time-tested strategies that apply across the country, but it is generally best to look at your specific situation based on your local jurisdiction and the specifics of the claims process where you live. Also, no two workers compensation claim cases are ever alike because of the specifics behind each claim which will also determine how much compensation an individual or family will receive.
If You are Struggling with a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim, Contact an Attorney
A worker’s compensation claim should never be denied without the involved parties first thoroughly reviewing the rules outlined by the State’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. If there are problems with the paperwork or overall claim, it’s best to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina before filing any other kind of appeal. Hiring an attorney will save you money, time, and increase your chance of getting your benefits.
This is because, and an experienced attorney would have handled several cases similar to yours, and they will know how to deal with insurance companies, a stubborn employer, and generally navigate the whole situation better than you would. Most employers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis.
Workers’ Compensation Fraud May Result in Severe Penalties
The workers’ compensation claim process can be a challenging one to navigate. It may even seem overwhelming at times. The last thing you need is the added stress of having fraudulent claims submitted on your behalf. As an employer, keeping track of your employees can be difficult enough without taking into account those who engage in fraudulent activities.
Workers’ compensation fraud can come from the injured employee or even a colleague looking to profit personally from a claim for which they are not entitled to receive benefits. Insurance fraud is a significant crime in South Carolina that can result in fines and even jail time.
The punishment differs depending on how much the fraudster received wrongfully from the scam or whether or not it was the accused’s first conviction for insurance fraud. The fine can range from $100 to $100,000, and ten years in prison, depending on the magnitude of the amount obtained and other factors.
It Will Not Affect Future Jobs
If you have been injured on the job, it has been difficult. You are going to want to know if you will be able to get a job later in life. This is one of the first things that you should know about your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer cannot deny you future employment because of your claim. You may not want to apply for a job where they have to see your injury right away, and that is okay too. Understand that filing an injury workers’ compensation claim might not be that bad.
There are multiple steps involved when dealing with workers’ compensation claims, and all those little details can become overwhelming. Hopefully that the advice in this piece helps you make more sense of the process.