The average American spends over 30 percent of his or her lifetime at work. Our work life can bring us pleasure and pride, be a surrogate family, help us expand our social circle and gives us the ability to feed and clothe our family. But sometimes, work can also bring pain. Accidents happen every day. People slip, trip, fall and get hurt or even killed on the job all the time. In 2014 alone, over 4,500 individuals were killed on the job. When someone is injured and left unable to perform their job duties, they suffer a loss of income that puts their lives and the well-being of their family and loved ones at risk.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
To put it simply, workers’ compensation is a state-regulated form of insurance designed to compensate and protect employees who are injured while on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 2.9 million people were injured on the job during a recent year. Some of the leading causes of workplace accidents include:
- Workplace violence
- Contact with objects
- Slip and fall
- Physical overexertion (lifting, pushing, etc.) and
- Explosions and fires.
What Is Covered in Workers’ Comp?
- The cost of your needed medical care
- The money/wages that are lost while you are unable to work
- Mileage reimbursement traveling to and from necessary doctors or to pick up prescriptions
- Any permanent disability, physical impairment, disfigurement and loss of limbs
- Death benefits
Six Essential Things to Remember About Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ comp insurance is paid for by an employer.
Benefits cover most but not ALL employees. While employers are legally required to carry workers’ comp insurance for their employees, the following types of employees are usually exempt from this:
- Contract and temporary workers
- Undocumented workers
- Domestic and agricultural workers
- Small businesses with three or fewer employees
3. There is a deadline for filing your claim!
In South Carolina, you have 90 days to give notice to your employer and report an accident. In examples of repetitive trauma, the 90 days starts from the date you should have discovered your condition.
Exception: If you have been mentally or physically unable to give your 90-day notice, you may be an exception to this deadline. Also, if fraud or deception from a third party involved prevented you from giving notice as well.
Once you give notice, you have two years to file your actual claim. Those who have experienced occupational diseases have two years from the time they were notified of their definitive diagnosis. If a claimant is deemed mentally incompetent and is without a guardian or trustee, none of the time limits apply.
If you have been injured at work, Bill Green and the legal team at Green Law Firm can help you file your claim with efficiency and ease! We will set you up for the best success to assure you receive the maximum compensation for your injury.
4. Workers’ compensation prevents you from suing your employer but also has YOUR back.
If you receive compensation insurance, you are usually barred from suing your employer. At the same time, it also prevents your employer from an affirmative defense. Affirmative defenses are when your employer admits that something happens but says that they are not responsible for your injury because you did something to contribute to the cause of it or because you knew you might be involved in a potentially dangerous situation.
5. Workers’ compensation is not a lawsuit.
Although there are lots of complexities involved with a workers’ compensation case, the overall concept is pretty simple; the employer must pay the insurance and the employee involved must accept the benefits.
6. Your claim CAN be denied.
Workers’ compensation is complex; your claim can be denied. This is why it’s essential to work with an experienced legal team that can guide you step-by-step through your claim!
7. If life is lost, death benefits are awarded.
In the tragic case that an employee loses his or her life while on the job, workers’ compensation provides for death benefits to beneficiaries that are deemed “wholly dependent.” South Carolina law states that a surviving spouse is entitled to at least half the maximum benefit; children are also covered under this, as well as any person who is entirely financially dependent on the deceased employee.
Here are several common reasons a claim can be denied.
- The claim is not filed in time.
- An employer disputes the injury by saying it did not happen while performing work-related functions.
- The injury sustained is not deemed substantial enough.
When a workers’ compensation claim is denied, you CAN appeal! Bill Green and the team at Green Law Firm can help you structure your claim and assist if your worker’s compensation claim has been denied. Let us help you recover lost wages, and keep your family safe and secure during this challenging time!
Workers’ compensation is designed to protect you. You work hard every day on behalf of your employer. If an accident has occurred that has caused you physical injury, you deserve to be compensated! If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job or lost their life due to a workplace accident, contact Green Law Firm today at 888-800-2455! We will review your case totally complimentary and with no risk to you. We are compensated based only on monies you are awarded.