Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Murrells Inlet
If you were hurt on the job, your employer's insurance can cover the cost of your medical bills and missed income. However, this process doesn't always go smoothly. Workers' compensation cases cause the same frustrations as other injury claims, with the insurance company or your employer trying to avoid responsibility. Even after taking responsibility, you may have your benefits cut off early or feel pressure to go back to work.
Our Murells Inlet workers' compensation lawyers can help workers through these and other challenges. The Morris Law Firm will fight against claim denials and compile proof of your injuries to make sure you receive appropriate benefits. We also explore options for compensation, including a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more.
In an ideal world, receiving the benefits you deserve as an injured employee would be straightforward. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies are still motivated by money and may try to save it by minimizing the support they provide. At Morris Law Firm, we work to accomplish the opposite-everything we do is to maximize your benefits.
Maximizing benefits looks different in each case.
Our workers' compensation lawyers are adaptable and can help identify the best route to relief for your specific case by:
- Explaining the process and requirements for receiving benefits
- Avoiding common mistakes when filing your paperwork
- Gathering evidence to support you if your claim is denied
- Appealing a decision after a claim denial
- Determining if you can file a lawsuit against another party
- Negotiating with insurance providers or other parties
Sometimes you need someone to stand up for you and explain why you deserve more treatment. Sometimes you need someone to cut through the convoluted terminology and provide a clear, step-by-step guide to getting benefits. Sometimes you need a full team backing you up because your injury's cause or existence is being questioned.
When you contact Morris Law Firm, ask to speak to a worker's compensation lawyer about your case. Our Murrells Inlet team is available 24/7/365, so you get information with your very first meeting and with no obligation.
Murrells Inlet Workers Compensation Lawyers Can Handle Disputes About Your Claim
Workplace accident disputes could involve:
- Complete denial of benefits
- Disagreements over the extent of your injuries
- Having your benefits cut off too soon
- Pressure to return to work before you're healed
- Attempts to place blame elsewhere for your injury
Your employer may argue your injuries happened off duty. The insurance company may say your injuries aren't as severe as you claim. You may even feel like your job is in jeopardy if you don't return to work quickly.
You have the right to receive proper care and heal from your injuries. A lawyer from our firm can help defend those rights.
We Can Help You Manage the Deadlines
Missing deadlines is one of the easiest reasons for an insurer to deny your claim, so it's important to stay on top of the many dates involved. Don't worry-we can manage this for you, providing you with reminders and even helping you with filings.
One of the first deadlines is reporting your injury. According to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, you must notify your employer within 90 days of the accident. You must then file your workers' compensation claim within two years from the date of the accident.
To meet these deadlines, we can explain the legal requirements, direct you to the correct forms, and help you gather the necessary supporting documentation. We can then review the documents before submitting to check for errors.
Fighting Workers' Compensation Claim Denials
If your claim was denied, you can still fight to receive benefits.
Our attorneys can form a plan of attack based on the reason for your denial, such as:
- Failing to notify your employer about your injury
- Not seeing an approved doctor
- Missing appointments with the approved doctor
- Not following doctor's orders for your care
- Errors with your paperwork
- Missing filing deadlines
If you feel your claim was unfairly denied for these or other reasons, we can investigate. You have the right to appeal a decision and file for a hearing with the Workers' Compensation Commission. This involves filling out a form, gathering evidence, and presenting your case. We can represent you throughout this process.
Getting a Second Opinion
Although you do need to see an approved doctor for your care, you can request to see another one if you believe the approved doctor is more interested in protecting your insurer's interests than your own. You may also just disagree with their assessment.
We can help you request a second opinion from your employer's insurance company. If that request is denied, we can also help you through the hearing process to fight for another doctor's evaluation.
Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits
The point of workers' compensation is to get you back in shape to return to work. This contrasts with a personal injury lawsuit, which is designed to recognize a wrong done by someone's carelessness.
As a result, workers' compensation does not allow you to recover damages like pain and suffering.
Instead, you receive benefits to help pay:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
As long as your injury occurred in the course of your duties, you can receive these benefits, regardless of whether someone's negligence was responsible for the accident. How much you receive and for how long will depend on the severity of your injuries along with your recovery process.
Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
You should receive medical treatment for as long as necessary to recover from your injuries.
Your claim could cover:
- X-rays and scans
- Medical equipment
- Physical therapy
However, medical benefits can have restrictions. You will need to see an approved doctor. The Balance explains that your employer's insurance policy may not put a cap on the cost of your claim, but it could cap the number of doctor visits.
For instance, the insurance company may only approve a specific number of physical therapy sessions. Further treatment can require additional authorization. Or only certain treatments may be approved for your condition-for example, you can receive massage therapy but not acupuncture for your back pain.
Additionally, you may have a different idea of what "fully recovered" means compared to your insurer. Rather than looking at your case individually, they may make a judgment call based on what's considered average. If they believe you should have fully recovered by a certain point, they may try to cut off your benefits. We can fight to have your case considered on its own merits.
If you were left with a permanent injury that affects your ability to work, you can receive additional compensation to account for this change in life and income.
The amount is based on the type of disability:
- Partial: Your disability prevents you from working at full capacity
- Total: Your disability prevents you from working at all
If you are permanently disabled but don't think your employer's insurer is taking your injury seriously, our team can help you fight for disability benefits.
According to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, the most compensation you can receive is 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly wages. This amount can't be more than the maximum average weekly wage for the year. As of 2022, that number is $963.37. Put more simply, if 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly wages is more than that, you still only receive $963.37.
These numbers are based on being totally disabled by your injury. If you were only partially disabled and able to work some of the time, you'll receive less income benefits. We can double-check the math when it comes to your case, working to ensure you receive the maximum possible amount of income benefits.
If You Are the Family Member of a Murrells Inlet Workplace Accident Victim
Tragically, some workplace accidents claim lives. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded nearly 4,800 fatal work injuries in just one year. Transportation injuries were the most common, but fatalities from exposure to harmful substances or environments reached a high.
If you lost a loved one to an accident or illness caused by their workplace, you can file a workers' compensation claim on their behalf to receive benefits . Our workers' compensation lawyers can evaluate your case and guide you through the process.
Surviving family members (spouses, children, or parents) could receive funds to help cover:
- Remaining medical bills
- Lost income
- Funeral services
- Burial or cremation expenses
Like other workers' compensation benefits, there are caps and requirements for death benefits. For instance, funeral expenses are capped at $12,000, according to South Carolina law. We can go through these specifics during your free consultation.
Workers' Compensation vs. Personal Injury in Murrells Inlet
Employers often agree to cover their employees' injuries in exchange for the employees giving up their right to sue the employer for negligence. You get to receive benefits without having to prove that someone caused your injury, and the employer won't have to pay for damages like pain and suffering.
This trade-off distinguishes workers' compensation from personal injury.
In personal injury cases, you must prove negligence but can also pursue more damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Additional medical bills
- Alternative treatment
- Lost side income
In some cases, your employer's insurance will deny your workers' compensation claim because they believe your injury was caused by another party. If so, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that party.
When Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
Although workers' compensation protects employers from liability, you could sue them if:
- You are an independent contractor
- Your employer does not provide workers' compensation
- Your injury was caused deliberately
- Your claim was unfairly denied even after appeal
Employers of independent contractors or owners of very small businesses are not required to provide workers' compensation. As a result, those hurt on the job could file a personal injury lawsuit. Deliberate injuries are also grounds for a suit.
If you appealed a decision and your claim was still unfairly denied, you can file a lawsuit against your employer to argue for benefits. By failing to fulfill their obligation to cover your workplace injuries, they are no longer protected from liability.
Keep in mind that you must show the employer was responsible for your injuries. You can file a workers' compensation claim without negligence, but the same isn't true of a personal injury lawsuit. Our workers' compensation lawyers can determine if you have grounds.
When Can I Sue a Third Party for a Workplace Injury?
If your claim was denied because your employer believes you were hurt by another party, we can investigate that possibility for you.
Other potentially responsible parties include:
- Independent contractors
- Product manufacturers
For instance, if a contractor renovating your workplace left a spill that you slipped on, they could be liable. Similarly, if you were hurt by malfunctioning equipment, a defect or design flaw could leave the manufacturer liable. Even a customer could be responsible. For example, being pushed by a drunk passenger while working on a Murrells Inlet sightseeing boat could allow for a lawsuit against the passenger.
In our investigation of your claim, we can help identify the liable party (or parties) and gather evidence to demonstrate that their failure in their duty of care caused you harm. Not only can we pursue medical bills and lost income, but we can also pursue pain and suffering damages on your behalf.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Workplace Injury?
South Carolina law generally allows personal injury victims three years to file, but some circumstances can change that deadline. Do not fear filing if you are still employed as the worker's compensation law protects you from being fired. In the meantime we can also use that time to analyze and strategize your case. So don't delay-get started today!
Get a Free Consultation From Our Murrells Inlet Team
When you call Morris Law Firm, you talk to a lawyer the same day. Contact our office at (843) 466-4444 to get started with your free case review. Our personal injury lawyers can review your Murrells Inlet claim and start working toward recovering your benefits.
Murrells Inlet Personal Injury LawyerAddress: 11054 SC-707 ,
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Phone: (843) 466-4444