Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Employees spend countless hours at work, and with so much time spent in the workplace, accidents are bound to happen. Sustaining an on-the-job injury or developing a work-related medical condition can put you in a challenging position, but workers’ compensation may be able to provide some relief.
The workers’ compensation process frequently comes with difficulties, but a lawyer for workers’ comp can provide exceptional guidance.
If you’re searching for “workers’ comp lawyers near me,” the Joel Bieber Firm has you covered.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance certain employers must carry to protect their employees after workplace accidents.
If you sustain an injury or develop an illness while on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.
Eligibility for workers’ comp depends on the details of your accident and other factors. For an illness or injury to qualify for workers’ comp in South Carolina, all of the following must be true:
- You’re an employee
- Your employer provides workers’ comp insurance protection
- Your injury or illness was caused or developed while on the job
- The time for reporting your injury or illness and filing for workers’ comp benefits has not passed
Challenges may arise when filing for workers’ compensation benefits. A qualified workers’ comp attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the process to help ensure you’re approved and begin receiving the benefits you need as soon as possible.
Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Comp in South Carolina?
Generally, South Carolina employers with businesses that employ four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are certain exceptions, including the following:
Casual employees with no set work hours
- Agricultural employees
- Railroad employees
- Real estate agents
If you fall into any of the above categories, you might not have workers’ compensation protection. If you are uncertain whether your employer must provide workers’ compensation coverage, discuss your situation with an attorney for workers’ comp.
Benefits Available Under Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation in South Carolina provides a multitude of benefits, depending on your situation. Some essential benefits include:
Workers’ comp covers medical and rehabilitation expenses related to your workplace accident.
It is extremely common to have to take time off from work after an accident. Time off means lost earnings. Workers’ compensation provides workers with income replacement. Covered South Carolina employees are entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly earnings, but the weekly compensation cannot exceed $963.37.
If a workplace accident results in a long-term disability, workers’ comp can provide disability benefits to aid the financial burden.
In cases involving the death of a worker, the employee’s family may be entitled to receive death benefits and funeral and burial costs.
Common Workplace Accidents
Workplace accidents depend on your specific job and working conditions. Some industries are inherently more dangerous than others.
The most common type of workplace accidents are often those involving these incidents:
- Falling from a height
- Slipping on dangerous surfaces
- Being struck by objects
- Electric shocks
- Motor vehicle accidents
To be eligible under SC workers’ comp, you must have been harmed during the scope or course of your employment. This means that you must be carrying out work duties at the time of your accident.
Qualifying Injuries Under Workers’ Comp
Typically, injuries that qualify under workers’ compensation in South Carolina include the following:
- Physical injuries
- Mental health injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Occupational diseases
Some of the most common types of injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractured and broken bones
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Respiratory illnesses
- Hearing or vision loss
- Skin conditions
If you sustain an injury while working or develop a serious illness or medical condition caused by your occupation, filing a workers’ comp claim may be your best option.
Report Your Injuries and File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Timely
After suffering an injury or illness at work, you have a limited amount of time to report it and file a workers’ comp claim.
In South Carolina, you have 90 days from your accident or diagnosis to report your work injuries or medical condition to your employer. The sooner you report, the better. Failing to report your harm to your employer may lead to a denial of workers’ comp benefits.
Additionally, you have two years from the date of the injury or diagnosis to file for workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina.
Sometimes, an employee passes away from a work-related injury or medical condition. In that case, the employee’s family has two years from the date of their death to apply for death benefits under workers’ comp.
Failing to handle your workers’ compensation claim promptly can have detrimental consequences. To help ensure your claim is handled appropriately, speak to a workers’ comp attorney in South Carolina.
Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation is generally a no-fault system, so you can likely receive benefits without assigning blame for your accident and injuries.
In exchange for receiving workers’ comp benefits, you’re prohibited from pursuing any legal remedy against your employer, including filing a civil lawsuit for financial recovery.
However, the same cannot be said for third parties. If a third party has caused your accident or harm, you might be able to hold them accountable and file a lawsuit against them.
For example, suppose you’re a construction worker and sustain injuries in a worksite accident caused by a third-party contractor. In that case, you might have a valid personal injury claim against the contractor.
Whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit against a third party for your work-related injuries depends on your circumstances. A workers’ compensation attorney can review the details of your case and provide beneficial legal advice.
Consult with a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Lawyer
The Joel Bieber Firm is dedicated to providing top-quality legal services for injured clients.
We know the workers’ compensation process can be tough and confusing, and we want to help take the stress and guesswork out of pursuing the benefits you’re owed.
With over 400+ years of collective experience, we feel confident in our abilities to help our clients get the compensation and benefits they deserve.
Contact our office today to request a complimentary case evaluation with one of our skilled South Carolina workers’ comp attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions
A workers’ compensation lawyer helps workers and their loved ones get properly compensated for the injuries suffered while on the job. Although workers’ compensation payouts are legally mandated for workers who injure themselves on the job, it is not uncommon for workers to have trouble receiving the amount of compensation they are entitled to. And in some cases, they have trouble getting any compensation whatsoever, even if they qualify for a claim.
A workers’ compensation lawyer represents their clients against the various obstacles that might prevent a worker from getting properly compensated. Some of these obstacles include:
Uncooperative insurance companies
With a workers’ compensation lawyer handling your case, you won’t have to worry about finding a way around these obstacles. Your attorney will handle all of the legal hurdles that you might face on your behalf.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will also handle any appeals you may need to make in the event that your claim is denied or if you are offered substandard compensation for your injuries.
Regardless of how your workers’ compensation lawyer helps you, you can expect to have peace of mind when an attorney is managing your claim.
Yes, it’s important to work with a lawyer for workers’ compensation if you want to increase your odds of getting the highest payout available for your injuries.
The workers’ compensation system does provide legally mandated payouts for injured workers. However, you may get less than what you deserve without an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer representing you. Additionally, you may face challenges that result in a claim’s denial.
Always remember that your employer and the insurance company that is responsible for your payment take a financial hit when you claim workers’ compensation. Because of this, both of these parties have an incentive to pay you less than what your claim is actually worth.
With an attorney representing you during the claims process, you will have an advocate safeguarding your financial interests and helping to ensure a proper payout.
You may also need a workers’ compensation attorney to defend you against any actions taken against you by your employer. Some bosses engage in unscrupulous behavior when dealing with employees returning to work. They can even attempt to take retaliatory action against an injured employer for filing a claim.
Finding a good workers’ compensation lawyer is essential to getting the most out of your workers’ compensation claim. You are not guaranteed the highest payout available when you are injured. In most cases, however, a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer can help you maximize your claim.
There are a few helpful tips on ways to find a good workers’ compensation lawyer. One is to ask around. Word of mouth continues to be one of the best ways to find an experienced and caring attorney that can help you with your claim.
Another option to find an attorney is through lawyer listings services, including the state bar for your local area. Most of these platforms are easy to navigate and give you the contact information and background on qualified attorneys nearby. You should also read as many reviews as you can about the attorneys you are thinking about working with.
Finally, schedule sit-downs with attorneys and ask them about their experience and results. After all, you deserve to work with a professional who handles a lot of cases like yours and who you feel comfortable working with.
For workers’ compensation claims, you should seriously consider speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident takes place. You have valuable compensation rights that need to be protected from the moment of your injury to the time you receive your compensation and sometimes afterward when you return to work.
If you have already started the claims process without an attorney, you may find that certain obstacles are preventing you from getting paid in a timely manner or from getting the treatment you need. You may also run into problems with doctors who dispute the seriousness of your injuries and insist that you are ready to return to work when you are not.
If this is the case, then don’t hesitate to call an attorney. Many of these obstacles may not go away without the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
You should also hire an attorney if you have a preexisting condition that could impact your claim. Some employers or insurance companies may attempt to use this as justification to deny your claim.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you in many ways, most notably by improving your odds of getting as much compensation for your injuries as possible. This is accomplished by skillfully navigating the claims process with experience as a guide.
At every stage of a client’s claim, workers’ compensation attorneys know what to do to increase the odds that their clients will be compensated properly. These skills only come with years of experience. An attorney will also handle all aspects of the claim, including:
Drafting and filing the requisite paperwork
Collecting medical evidence of your injuries
Conducting discovery and taking depositions
Researching legal issues
Hiring medical and safety experts if necessary
Representing you at hearings or trial
Workers’ compensation attorneys also negotiate on behalf of their clients. They understand that insurance adjusters want to pay as little as possible, so they employ strategies of their own to get their clients what they need.
Additionally, workers’ compensation attorneys help identify other potential sources of compensation outside of workers’ comp, such as a lawsuit against a negligent third party.
If you’re injured at work and would like to receive benefits, you’ll need to file a workers’ compensation claim. The exact process varies by state; therefore, it’s best to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you’re taking all necessary steps.
- Seek Medical Attention
- Report Your Injury or Illness to Your Employer
- File a Workers’ Comp Claim
Once you notify your employer, they will either give you forms to fill out or fill out the required forms themselves. They will then submit documentation to their insurance company.
Depending on your state, either your employer will need to file forms with your state’s workers’ compensation agency or you will need to file documents with the agency. A workers’ compensation lawyer can give you valuable guidance to help ensure you file your claim properly and in a timely manner.
A workers’ compensation attorney’s fees are highly regulated by statute. In the majority of cases, your attorney’s fees will be determined based on a contingency model of payment. This means that their fee is entirely dependent upon the outcome of your case.
For example, if your workers’ compensation attorney charges a 20% fee contingent on the outcome of your claim, and you receive $100,000, the attorney’s fees will come out to $20,000.
When you first secure the services of a workers’ compensation attorney, you won’t have to pay anything upfront if they take your case on a contingency basis. When your case has been completely resolved, and you receive your compensation, your attorney’s fees will be calculated based on your total payout. This means they will receive their payment directly from your proceeds.
In the event that you receive no payout, your attorney’s fees will be zero. Because you pay your attorney nothing until your case is successfully resolved, you have the benefit of conserving what resources you have while your case makes its way to resolution.
There are many benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. The principal benefit is that they will work hard to get you the highest payout possible for your claim.
As an injured worker, you only get a percentage of your damages covered by workers’ comp. That’s why you need a professional to help maximize your claim.
The presence of an attorney levels the playing field between you and insurance claims adjusters. Adjusters know that an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer won’t fall for the tactics that typically make unrepresented injured workers accept less than they deserve.
With an attorney on your case, the equation changes from an injured worker against an insurance professional to a professional against a professional.
Another important benefit of having a workers’ compensation attorney on your side is peace of mind. You need the assurance that the proper measures are being employed by a seasoned professional to get you adequate compensation to cover your damages. Having this knowledge helps to bring a sense of calm to your situation, which can be incredibly helpful as you seek to heal from your injuries.
A workers’ compensation lawyer is important because you are not always guaranteed a proper payout if you file a claim on your own. Yes, workers’ compensation coverage is your right. However, it is never guaranteed that you will receive the exact amount of coverage needed for some of your injuries. Unfortunately, denials and unnecessary delays are quite common, even in the face of a valid claim for compensation.
When you need your payout the most, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem with your workers’ compensation claim. Having a workers’ compensation attorney represent you helps facilitate a swift resolution of issues and makes way to prompt payment.
Another reason that having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side is important is that it can prepare you to face any obstacles that may arise in your claim. Many workers’ compensation filings go through without much of a hitch, especially in cases with minor injuries. However, more serious injuries can lead to greater obstacles. Having a lawyer there to handle any obstacles will keep your claim on track.
There are a few important factors to consider when choosing a workers’ compensation lawyer. The first is experience. You want to go with an attorney who regularly represents clients in workers’ compensation matters and who has satisfied their past clients. The more experience and success in workers’ compensation cases a lawyer has, the better it will be for your case.
Another important factor to consider during your search for workers’ compensation lawyers is the way you feel about the lawyer you are considering hiring.
Although your attorney will be handling every aspect of your case, you will still be required to meet and work with them on occasion. You want to choose someone who makes you feel at ease and shows genuine concern for your case, especially in a world in which workers’ compensation claims are common.
You also want to choose a workers’ compensation lawyer who has a solid reputation among their peers. You can find out a lot by looking your attorney up online. There are also various organizations that give awards to outstanding lawyers based on their performance and the perception of their colleagues and peers.
Worker’s compensation attorneys typically charge a percentage of the total compensation they recover for you. This is known as a contingency fee.
In personal injury cases, attorneys may charge well over 30% of the settlement for their services. However, in workers’ compensation cases, the percentage is typically lower, except in South Carolina, which allows for attorney’s fees of up to 33%.
Depending on the jurisdiction you are in, you may see workers’ compensation attorney’s fees max out at about 25% in Virginia, Massachusetts, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota.
Keep in mind that if your workers’ compensation lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf against a third party, then the fees for that suit will be calculated differently than the fees for workers’ compensation.
Costs are another important consideration. Your attorney’s fees are separate from the costs involved with your representation. Court costs, travel expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses are the responsibility of the claimant and are calculated on top of attorney’s fees. As with attorney’s fees, your attorney’s out-of-pocket costs will be deducted directly from your claim proceeds.