Workers’ compensation is a vitally important employer-provided insurance program protecting employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. But to access essential benefits, such as medical treatment and wage replacement, you must file your claim correctly and in a timely manner. At that point, you should be able to concentrate on your health. Unfortunately, problems often arise in the course of a workers’ comp claim, and you may need legal assistance to assert your rights. If that happens, you can rely on the Law Offices of David L. Hood to manage disputes effectively so you can continue receiving the benefits you deserve.
If you are hurt at work, you are entitled to medical treatment. If you require emergency care, you should get yourself to a hospital emergency room immediately. You do not have to file a claim before you go to the ER.
However, the law does require you to notify your employer within 90 days of an accident. If you fail to do so, you could lose your benefits unless one of the narrow exceptions applies to your case, such as:
It is not your responsibility to file the claim with the insurance company; your employer should do that. However, employers often neglect this obligation, making it difficult or impossible for workers to access benefits. So, the law does allow you to file a claim on your own behalf.
Simply file a Form 50 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. This form asks for pertinent information about your accident and your injuries. You have up to two years from the date of your accident to file your Form 50.
In the event of a fatal accident, a surviving family member can file a Form 52 for death benefits within two years of the date of death.
Workers’ compensation doesn’t just cover accidental injuries on the job. As an employee, you are also insured against repetitive stress injuries and occupational diseases. However, these conditions are different because they appear and worsen over time, so it’s very difficult to set a date when the condition first occurred. For a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you must file a workers’ comp claim within two years of the time when you knew or reasonably should have known your condition was work related. For an occupational disease claim, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you must file within two years of the date you receive a definitive diagnosis.
The Law Offices of David L. Hood provides determined legal representation to injured workers in workers’ compensation claims. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 843-485-0011 or contact our Murrells Inlet office online.