If you get hurt on the job, you are entitled to get fair compensation if you are unable to work while recovering from your injury. For a successful resolution of a workers’ compensation case, claimants are required to follow certain complicated procedures, which vary from state to state. Here is an outline of some of the major steps claimants should take.
If you’re seriously hurt at work, get treated right away. As soon as your initial treatment is finished, you should notify your employer of your accident and injury. South Carolina workers’ compensation law requires you to notify your employer of your injury within 90 days. The better practice is to provide written notice of the injury as soon as possible.
Filing the Claim
After receiving your notice, the employer has 10 days to file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If it doesn’t do so, you can file your own claim. You’re encouraged to make that filing as soon as possible after the 10 day period has expired. You’ll want any benefits to be timely paid without delay.
Your Treating Physician
Workers’ compensation lawyers will advise you to choose your own doctor. If you elect to be treated by a physician that you choose, the employer isn’t obligated to pay for that physician.
Attending Your Medical Exam
If a medical exam is scheduled by your employer or by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, plan on attending it. If you refuse or otherwise fail to attend the exam, all workers’ compensation benefits can be suspended until such time as you either attend or cooperate in the examination, or the Workers’ Compensation Commission decides whether your failure to attend the exam was excusable.
The Independent Medical Examination
If you disagree with the findings of the physician that your employer sent you to, you have the right to obtain an independent medical examination, but it will be at your expense. This physician’s findings might reveal additional information about the nature and extent of your condition and treatment that will allow the Workers’ Compensation Commission to make a more informed decision.
This outline is only the tip of the iceberg in a highly complex area of the law. If a settlement agreement isn’t entered into, your claim will be scheduled for a hearing and decided by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you’re not satisfied with that decision, you have the right to an appeal.