What Are My Rights for Workers’ Compensation?

April 23, 2024 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

Your rights for workers’ compensation in South Carolina include getting prompt medical care, recovering compensation for lost time at work, and more.

The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for employees of covered employers if they suffer injuries in a work-related accident or receive a diagnosis related to their employment. This act entitles qualifying workers to recover:

  • Medical care and expenses
  • Temporary total disability compensation
  • Permanent disability benefits for lasting injuries
  • Other benefits available through their employer’s policy

While many employees are protected by this safety net, certain groups do not have this benefit. Casual employees, federal employees, independent contractors, and small business employees are just some categories not covered by workers’ compensation.

If you don’t know whether or not you are eligible for workers’ compensation, if you believe you qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, but the insurer denied your claim, or there is another concern with your benefits, you have the right to enlist the help of an attorney who can explain your options, offer support and advice, and navigate the process of pursuing the compensation due to you.

You Can Request a New Doctor

According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company has the right to choose the physician who treats your injuries or the hospital where you go for care. You do not have the right to see your own doctor for covered medical expenses, although you can pay for this out of your own pocket if you want.

However, if there is a concern about the doctor or the insurer that your company asks you to see, there are actions you can take. You can contact the insurer and request to see another doctor of their choice, or you can file a Form 50 and request a hearing. During this hearing, you can outline your concerns and request that the commissioner allow you to see a different doctor.

You Can Challenge the Decisions Made About Your Claim

When the workers’ compensation insurance company approves your claim, you should begin receiving benefits paid as outlined under SC Code of Laws Section 42-9-360. However, in some cases, workers feel that they did not receive all the benefits due to them or that the insurer miscalculated their benefits.

Other problems with workers’ compensation benefits arise when the insurance company denies the claim, alleges that your injuries did not occur at work, or when your employer fails to report your accident to the workers’ compensation insurer.

As you can imagine, these situations make it much more difficult to receive the compensation necessary to pay your bills after a job site injury or illness. You have a right to challenge any of these decisions and can request a hearing with a commissioner. You can also enlist the help of an attorney with our firm to represent you if you have serious concerns about how to secure the compensation you need.

You Cannot Be Fired or Demoted Because of Your Claim

While South Carolina is a right-to-work state, and your employer can terminate you for almost any reason, there are protections for injured workers. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim by firing you or demoting you.

However, it is worth noting that your employer can reassign you to light-duty work or force you to come back to work as soon as your doctor approves it. If you are not ready to return, you could lose your workers’ compensation benefits and your job.

Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your Case

If you have concerns about your workers’ compensation claim, or you believe your employer or an insurer may be violating your rights, you should reach out to a workers’ compensation law firm in South Carolina. You do not have to fight with the insurance company on your own, especially while you are undergoing treatment and still out of work due to your injury or illness.

Workers’ compensation law firms generally provide complimentary case reviews. A workers’ compensation law firm can help you understand the benefits you should be receiving and challenge your employer, or an insurer, to provide you with the proper benefits.

A worker’s compensation lawyer can also represent you during hearings with a workers’ compensation commissioner, help you find coverage for your medical care costs until you are approved, and negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement if that becomes an option for you.

Speak with the Hammack Law Firm Workers’ Comp Team Today

At Hammack Law Firm, our workers’ compensation team represents injured and ill workers based on contingency. We know how stressful and frustrating it is to face a significant injury and have your employer and insurance company deny there is a problem or that your injury occurred the way you say it did.

Our compassionate and understanding team members can provide you with a free case assessment. We will determine the strength of your workers’ compensation appeal and may be able to help you request a hearing, develop an argument to support compensation, and present your case to the commissioner.

Call (864) 326-3333(864) 326-3333 now to get started with your free consultation.

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