Greenville Workers Compensation Attorney
If you’re suffering from an illness or injury caused by your workplace, you may be wondering if you should contact a Greenville workers compensation attorney. You may find that you don’t need legal assistance for your workers compensation claim. Insurance companies are unlikely to fight claims that don’t involve long period of time off work, don’t regard serious (i.e. life-threatening) illness or injury, and/or are clearly work-related.
Outside of those clear-cut criteria, you may find yourself in a dispute with the insurance company your employer uses for compensation claims. While it is possible to file a claim on your own behalf, and even to handle a dispute or an appeal on your own, there are many benefits to hiring an attorney to represent you. These benefits include:
- Consultation on injury-related statements. In the event of a work-related illness or injury, employers can handle claims internally, or (in most cases) they can turn settlement over to their insurance company, whose primary objective will always be protecting their own interests. Attorneys can provide counsel on claim-related statements. Much like law enforcement’s infamous Miranda right, ‘anything you say can and will be used against you’ by insurance companies if it helps them issue a smaller settlement. It is best to consult with a law firm as soon as possible after your injury to reduce the chance of making a statement that negates your claim.
- Resources in the event of a denied or challenged claim, including but not limited to depositions and finding expert witnesses or requesting independent medical assessments.
- Better odds at an approved claim. As of January 13th, 2019 the US Department of Labor put the total number of Part B workers compensation claims filed in South Carolina at 8,266 – with only 3,424 approved, or around 41.4%.
- Higher settlement amounts. According to findings from lawyer.com, over 2/3 of claimants surveyed were represented by an attorney. The average compensation amount for those claimants was $23,500 – compared to an average of $18,000 for claimants who settled without the assistance of legal counsel.
- Structuring the settlement. Wording in settlements can be tricky, and a good attorney can help make sure that your workers compensation settlement doesn’t bar you from receiving future benefits – such as Social Security or disability – in the future.
If you suffer from a work-related injury or illness, contact us at Hayes Law Firm LLC. We pride ourselves on being Greenville’s premier workers’ compensation attorneys. With extensive experience and training in handling workers’ compensation claims, we will make sure your time and expenses are covered. Call us at 864-233-3100 or chat with one of our staff to set up your consultation.
Workers Compensation Rules in Greenville, SC
For many US workers, workplace injury or illness can seem destabilizing and frightening. But navigating a workers’ compensation claim with insurance companies, the state, and your employer doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Understanding some of the basic workers compensation rules can be the deciding factor in getting the assistance you need.
- Report your injury right away, and make sure it’s fully documented by your company and your doctor. You may be inclined to see if you heal on your own, but the danger is that as time passes, you could get worse, and it will be much harder to prove causation between your workplace and your injury/illness. South Carolina law allows 90 days from the date of injury to report your issue in writing, though you have two years to actually file a claim as long as the issue is on record. Failure to report may exclude you from receiving workers compensation benefits.
- Never accept the insurance company’s first offer. You need time to be sure you don’t have any residual issues following your injury or illness that could cost you more time and money down the road. Insurance companies may try to settle quickly to get your claim closed out to prevent paying out a larger (and more fair) amount later on if you have more issues.
- Attend all medical appointments, and all scheduled legal proceedings. Over the course of your claim, you may be required to attend independent examinations; prompt cooperation will help your claim. Failure to appear at any court appointment – especially if you do not have legal counsel – can result in a partial or full loss of benefits. Time truly is money! If you will be unable to attend a scheduled examination or court proceeding, be sure to notify the insurance company and state agency as far ahead of time as possible to reschedule.
- If your claim was caused in part or in full by a third party, such as a subcontractor or a vendor, you may be entitled to file a civil claim against that party. Your lawyer will be able to review the incident and help you determine if any other parties were responsible for your injury or illness.
- Make sure you have the best legal counsel possible. A common thread in the tips above is that with a well-practiced workers compensation lawyer, you can make sure you receive the best settlement possible.
At Hayes Law Firm, LLC, we believe that you deserve to know and understand workers’ compensation rules so that you can live your life after workplace injury or illness without drowning in anxiety and debt as a result of the incident. We are pleased to offer a free consultation on your claim; just give us a call at 864-233-3100 for more information or visit our website to chat with one of our staff members and schedule your appointment.
Hurt at Work in Greenville, SC
Of the five biggest employers in Greenville County, two are health care systems and two are manufacturing companies. The health care and manufacturing industries came in first and second respectively in 2017 for the most non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses, the former with 552,600 and the latter with 410,500. In these fields, it is obvious that people need to be aware of their surroundings, and both health care and manufacturing have strict standards for dress code, PPE, and safety procedure to prevent workplace injury.
Am I Eligible for Compensation if I’m Injured at Work?
What about everyone else? Those who are employed by smaller companies, or companies in industries that don’t make the list of most injury-prone? According to South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, virtually anyone who works for a company with more than four employees is eligible for workers compensation if they are hurt at work in South Carolina.
Although OSHA distributes safety materials with general guidelines, many people operate in work environments without well-documented safety procedures or a continued training program focused on injury prevention.
The National Security Council, dedicated to eliminating preventable deaths in the workplace through awareness and education, offers company safety training, consulting, and the chance for workers to take a safety pledge. While it is exemplary for individuals to sign this pledge and commit to a safer workspace, employers are ultimately responsible for making sure that employees are trained on and adhering to all safety procedures. It is also their responsibility to make sure that workplace and equipment conditions are prime.
Common Types of Work-Related Injury
The unfortunate reality is that workplace injury can happen to anyone at any time if proper precautions aren’t taken. Common causes of injury – slips and falls, contact with equipment, and overexertion – are all eligible for coverage under the SC Workers’ Compensation Act. These laws include provisions of coverage for:
- wages lost
- medical expenses,
- any temporary or permanent disabilities that may arise as a result of the original injury
For the common types of injury mentioned previously, the average amount of work days lost for an injured worker is anywhere from 5 to 12 – more than two work weeks! That number likely doesn’t account for complications that occur after an injury has healed, especially if a settlement is completed and a claim closed before those complications are accounted for.
After a workplace injury, there may be lasting complications, even if the original injury was minor. It is always wise to consult a workers’ compensation attorney to make sure you receive all the treatment you’re entitled to, without paying out of pocket.
At Hayes Law Firm LLC, we offer risk-free consultations if you have been hurt at work in Greenville SC, and we will always be thorough in our assessments to make sure you are taken care of not just in the short-term, but for the long run. Your health and your livelihood can’t wait; contact us at 864-233-3100 for more information.
An Injury at Work in Greenville, SC
Have you been injured at work? A work-related injury can make the future seem uncertain. Bills begin to pile up, and it’s hard to know where the next paycheck will come from. Even if you know you are covered, you may not be aware of the full extent of your rights.
In South Carolina alone, there were over 10000 work-related injuries in the private sector in 2017. Most employers are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. This is meant to cover you in the event of an accident. However, just because you’re covered doesn’t mean you’ll receive what you deserve.
After an accident, it is important for you to consult a competent attorney before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company or employer. Many insurers will try to offer you less than what you deserve. This means you could be at risk of not getting the money you’ll need to cover medical bills and lost wages.
The Best Workers Compensation Lawyer in Greenville
My name is Carole Hayes, and I am a workers compensation lawyer based out of Greenville, South Carolina. I have years of experience fighting for workers and accident victims, making sure they receive the justice and compensation they deserve. I know that every case is unique, and work with you so that you get the reimbursement you are entitled to. I go to bat for you so that you can focus on getting healthy.
It can be hard to get your feet under you after an injury at work. But there are a few important steps that you need to follow immediately after your injury.
The most important is reporting the accident to your supervisor and ensuring that an official Accident Report is filed. This will be the basis for your insurance claim, and your employer will send it to their workers compensation insurer. Then, an appointment will be schedule for you to see one of the insurer’s approved doctors. Throughout every step of this process, it is crucial that you request copies of every single document that relates to your case.
As an attorney who is the best workers compensation lawyer in Greenville, I can advise you on all of your legal options. Coverage varies depending on the nature of your injury. I will walk you through the process, and explain what injuries are covered.
I am committed to South Carolina’s working class, and know financial situations can be uncertain, especially following an injury. That’s why I offer all consultations for free, and no attorney’s fee is charged until your case is resolved.
Contact Me for More Info
You deserve a lawyer who will do everything in her power to fight for you. Call to speak directly with me and discuss your individual case. I proudly serve clients in the upstate area and all throughout South Carolina.