A serious injury at work can leave you with more questions than answers. Not only do you have to deal with the long-term impact of your injuries, including the pain and limitations that can accompany them, but you may also find yourself worrying about the potential loss of income that often accompanies serious injuries. Workers’ compensation in Columbia helps provide compensation for the damages you may have sustained. Unfortunately, that process may go differently than you hoped.
At Morris Law Firm, we know how to help workplace injury victims learn more about their rights. Our team of experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina, works to help you learn more about your next steps and the compensation you may deserve. Contact us to learn more about your next steps.
How Morris Law Firm Can Help with Your Columbia Workers’ Comp Claim
If you are dealing with serious workplace injuries, do not try to handle your workers’ comp claim alone. At Morris Law Firm, we have the tools and experience to help guide you through the claim process and provide essential support as you determine what to do next and how to handle your claim.
We Make Our Clients’ Results a Top Priority
When you have serious injuries from a workplace accident, the results you can get from your claim matter. You want to avoid ending up with a settlement that does not reflect your losses, nor do you want to get pushed back to work before you can reasonably complete your usual job duties. At Morris Law Firm, we prioritize your needs and maximize the results you can get from your workers’ comp claim.
We Deliver a High Standard of Service
Serious injuries from a workplace accident can leave you under great stress, especially if you have ongoing questions about whether workers’ comp will pay out the compensation you deserve.
Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys offer a high standard of service that helps remove some of the stress and uncertainty as you move forward with your claim. We offer every client comprehensive support as they deal with the aftermath of a workplace accident and try to learn more about their next steps. We focus on keeping our clients in the loop and offering them clear information about their options and next steps, rather than offering empty promises that may not reflect the real results of their claims.
We Have the Experience Necessary To Help You Navigate Even Complicated Workers’ Comp Cases
Experience matters, especially regarding the complexities of workers’ comp law. Workplace accident victims in Columbia, South Carolina, and the surrounding area often find themselves fighting with a workers’ comp provider that does not seem to want to offer the support and compensation they deserve. Workers can end up back at work before they should, worsening their injuries or preventing them from getting the compensation they really deserve. At Morris Law Firm, we know what those challenges can look like, and we fight to support our clients as they navigate those often difficult roads.
At Morris Law Firm, we make it as easy as possible for our clients to get in touch and get the legal support they need following a workplace injury. Contact us or connect with us online to learn more about your rights after a Columbia workplace accident.
- How Morris Law Firm Can Help with Your Columbia Workersâ Comp Claim
- Workers' Comp in Columbia: What You Can Expect
- Columbia, SC, Workers' Comp Statistics and Details
- Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Columbia Workplace Injury
- Columbia Workers' Comp FAQ
- Do You Need a Columbia Workersâ Comp Lawyer?
Workers' Comp in Columbia: What You Can Expect
In South Carolina, employers that regularly employ more than four employees must carry workers’ comp insurance. Part-time employees count toward that number. Most businesses that regularly rely on employees to get the job done will need to carry workers’ comp insurance, which kicks in any time an employee suffers an injury at work. Workers’ comp insurance provides coverage in several key areas.
Workers' Comp Pays Directly for Medical Bills Associated With a Workplace Accident
When you suffer an injury at work, workers’ compensation will usually pay directly for any medical expenses associated with that accident. Since workplace accidents can result in high medical bills, from the cost of a visit to the emergency room to the ongoing cost of care following a serious accident, employees may benefit from that coverage.
However, that does not necessarily mean that employees who suffered injuries in the workplace can rely on workers’ comp to cover the cost of any medical treatment they choose immediately. Workers’ comp often requires employees to get approval before receiving non-emergency procedures. Sometimes, it can take time to get those essential procedures approved. Working with a lawyer can help you get your medical treatments approved faster, which may make it easier for you to move forward with your recovery.
Workers' Comp Will Pay a Percentage of Your Income While You Recover
Workers’ comp will usually pay for two-thirds of your income while you remain out of work, recovering from your job injury. In a personal injury claim, in which compensation for lost wages and income is typically paid out all at once when you reach a settlement agreement. In contrast, a workers’ compensation claim typically pays out throughout the time you have to spend out of work, based on your average weekly wage.
In Some Cases, Workers’ Comp May Offer Additional Compensation for Permanent Injuries
If you find yourself permanently disabled after a job-related injury, you may wonder whether workers’ compensation will be enough to sustain your long-term costs. Workers’ comp sometimes offers a settlement for permanent injuries or long-term medical needs. If you receive a settlement offer from workers’ comp, make sure that you talk to a lawyer about the full compensation you may deserve and how you can maximize it.
Columbia, SC, Workers' Comp Statistics and Details
South Carolina reports more than 30,000 non-fatal workplace injuries, at a rate of around 2.2 injury cases each year for every 100 full-time workers. In South Carolina, the trade, transportation, utilities, and manufacturing industries see higher rates of workplace accidents than other industries.
Those employees may face several challenges that can increase the risk of workplace injuries.
- Slip and fall accidents can result in severe injuries to workers, especially workers who do not have non-slip shoes. Slip and fall accidents can also occur among construction workers who regularly work at heights. Nationally, around 18 percent of workplace accidents result from slip and fall accidents.
- Contact with objects and equipment, one of the top three causes of workplace injuries, can occur in some settings. Workers may, for example, suffer electrocution injuries after touching dangerous equipment that has not received proper attention, or they may suffer injuries related to power tool use on the job.
- Workers may also suffer serious injuries due to overexertion. South Carolina sees many hot, humid days, which can cause a strong reaction in some workers. Failure to seek medical care can increase the risk of serious damage due to overexertion.
- Repetitive stress injuries can cause a number of problems for workers in Columbia. Many workers perform the same actions over and over throughout the day, which can result in potentially devastating injuries over time.
The CDC notes that workers under the age of 25 have a greater overall risk of suffering injuries in workplace accidents that require treatment in an emergency room. Workers under 25 may suffer more injuries because they take more risks at work or have not yet internalized the full range of safety requirements for their jobs. Young workers may also have more trouble judging potential dangers and determining when they may need to wait for assistance.
Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Columbia Workplace Injury
Workers’ comp exists to help compensate workers who have sustained serious injuries on the job. South Carolina has clear mandates on how Columbia workers’ comp providers have to assist workers dealing with those injuries. Unfortunately, dealing with workers’ comp insurance may not go as smoothly as anticipated. Workers’ comp insurance providers can, in many cases, make life stressful for injured workers.
At Morris Law Firm, however, we have the resources necessary to help workers deal with those potential issues and navigate the claim process as smoothly as possible.
Workers’ comp insurance may deny workplace injury claims for several reasons.
- Workers’ comp may try to claim that the injury did not occur at work. In general, if you suffer an injury in the workplace, you should report the injury immediately and follow the steps required by your employer to ensure you get all the necessary compensation. However, sometimes, you can discover well after an accident that you sustained serious enough injuries to require medical treatment. Workers’ comp, however, may try to deny the fact that the injury occurred at work since you did not receive immediate medical care.
- You missed critical deadlines or failed to fill out paperwork properly. In some cases, workers’ comp insurance providers may push responsibility for missing paperwork or information to you, even if they did not provide you with the needed information.
- You sought medical care outside the workers’ comp network or pursued treatment for medical care without consent from the workers’ comp provider.
Working with Morris Law Firm early in the claim process increases the odds that your claim will go through the first time. Often, we can make it easier to appeal your claim.
Refusal to Pay for Needed Medical Services
While workers’ comp will often take care of all the medical payments associated with a workplace injury, it may make treatment easier. In some cases, you may have to fight to get workers’ comp to pay out for some of the necessary treatments. You will likely work with your medical care provider to develop a treatment plan that will allow you to clearly lay out the best steps for your recovery.
However, workers’ comp may not approve those treatments, pressure you to try another treatment protocol before the company approves the treatments you need, or offer you the best odds of recovering fully.
Claiming You Self-Limited Your Recovery
You can continue to seek help through workers’ comp, including payment for medical expenses and payment for a percentage of your income, for the duration of your recovery from those serious injuries. However, if your recovery takes longer than anticipated, workers’ comp may try to claim that you limited your own recovery.
Limiting your own recovery might include:
- Failing to arrange for necessary medical care
- Failing to engage in physical or occupational therapy recommended by your care provider
- Engaging in activities that may have worsened your injuries
- Claiming worse injuries or greater limitations than you really have
Unfortunately, workers’ comp may refuse to pay out any further if the company decides that you have limited your own recovery or made those injuries worse in any way.
Pressuring You to Return to Work
Once you return to work after a workplace accident, workers’ comp payments stop, and you will start receiving your usual income again. Unfortunately, your workers’ comp provider or your employer may pressure you to get back to work sooner than you feel comfortable or before you have fully recovered from your injuries. In many cases, you may find yourself fighting to prove that you still need to stay home to recover from your injuries.
At Morris Law Firm, we understand the many difficulties patients can face as they recover from often devastating workplace injuries. Our team of experienced Columbia workers’ compensation attorneys can help you navigate all the challenges the workers’ comp insurance provider can throw in your way.
Columbia Workers' Comp FAQ
When Do I Have the Right to File a Workers' Comp Claim in Columbia?
In Columbia, you have the right to file a workers’ comp claim any time you suffer an injury at work. It does not matter if your negligence or your employer’s negligence caused the accident; you can file a workers’ comp claim any time you sustain injuries at work.
How Does a Workers’ Comp Claim in Columbia Differ From a Personal Injury Claim?
You have the right to file a workers’ comp claim any time you suffer a workplace accident, regardless of who caused the incident. Generally, you have the right to file a personal injury claim when someone else’s negligence causes an accident.
Workers’ comp and personal injury claims also have several other key differences.
- Workers’ comp will usually pay for your medical bills directly. You will have to get approval for specific procedures ahead of time, but you will not have to worry about making payment arrangements. When you file a personal injury claim, on the other hand, you will need to make arrangements to pay for your own medical needs, and you will receive a lump sum settlement at the end rather than payments over time.
- Workers’ comp will pay for a percentage of your income for the duration of your recovery, while personal injury claims generally pay out one lump sum payment.
- Personal injury claims often include compensation for the suffering faced by the injured party. On the other hand, workers’ comp claims typically do not include compensation for pain and suffering.
Do I Have the Right to File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim if I Suffered an Injury at Work in Columbia?
In some cases, you may have the right to file both a personal injury claim and a workers’ comp claim after a workplace accident. You can file an injury claim any time you suffer injuries at work. However, if someone else’s negligence led to your workplace accident, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim.
For example, you may file a third-party liability claim if you suffered injuries due to a dangerous equipment malfunction or if your employer failed to provide adequate safety equipment.
If you do file a third-party liability claim and a workers’ comp claim, workers’ comp may take some of the funds from the injury claim to cover your medical bills and income payments.
Talk to a lawyer at Morris Law Firm to better understand whether an injury claim or a workers’ comp claim makes the most sense in your case and how you can best navigate it.
What Should I Do After I Suffer a Workplace Injury in Columbia?
Your employer may have a specific set of procedures in place that govern what you need to do after a workplace accident in Columbia.
In addition to reporting the accident as soon as it occurs, as you move forward with your workers’ comp claim, you may need to:
- Seek care through a provider approved through workers’ comp. You may not receive coverage for care outside the network defined by your provider.
- Talk to a lawyer to learn more about your rights under workers’ comp. Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you should expect as you move forward with the claim, including how you can determine what compensation you might deserve or how long workers’ comp payment should last after an accident.
- Follow your care provider’s instructions as you recover from your injuries. If you ignore your care provider, you may discover that you worsen your own injuries and limit the compensation you can recover for them.
- Document the recovery process. Keep a journal that lays out any instructions issued by your care provider. Take note of any challenges you may face as you recover from your injuries, including the challenges of dealing with workers’ comp.
- Do not go back to work before your doctor approves it. Going back to work too soon could stop workers’ comp payments and leave you without a source of income as you continue to recover from your injuries.
- Communicate regularly with your employer. Discuss the modifications and assistance needed to return to work safely per your doctor’s instructions.
What Should I Do if I Do Not Receive Payments for Lost Income as I Recover From Columbia Workplace Injuries?
If your workers’ comp provider does not issue your earnings promptly, it can make it difficult for you to manage your finances while recovering from your accident. Furthermore, it could violate the terms of your insurance. Talk to a lawyer as soon as you realize that workers’ comp has not provided you with relevant payments.
When Should I Get in Touch With a Lawyer Regarding a Columbia Workers’ Comp Claim?
Contact a lawyer soon after your accident to discuss your rights and what you should expect as you deal with workers’ comp in Columbia.
You may also need a lawyer if:
- Workers' comp denies your claim
- Workers' comp pressures you to get back to work before your doctor approves it
- Workers' comp does not issue payments on time
- You have trouble getting approval for procedures recommended by your care provider
Do You Need a Columbia Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
When you suffer serious injuries at work, you need a legal team that has your back — a team that will provide you with essential insights into your rights and supports you through the claim process.