How Does Workers Comp Work In South Carolina?

There are many steps in the process of filing a Workers Compensation claim and winning a fair settlement. Whether you fill out a Workers Comp application after suffering a workplace injury matters. But so do other factors. How you fill out your application, whether you choose to hire an attorney represent you and how much experience your workers compensation lawyer has handling such complex cases can all make a dramatic difference. At Matthews & Megna, we focus on achieving results and getting the maximum compensation for our clients.

The typical phases of a Workers Compensation case include:

  • you are injured in a work accident or realize your long-term pain is from ongoing job-related duties
  • you notify your boss
  • you obtain a Worker's Compensation application
  • you fill out the forms and give them to your boss or HR Department to submit
  • you are sent to an "Independent Medical Examiner," or IME, to have your injury assessed - this may include an X-ray, MRI, orthopedic surgeon assessment and/or physical therapy session
  • you receive a diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan from your doctor(s)
  • you begin treatment, which may include hospitalization, surgery and/or occupational therapy;
  • you receive a monetary Workers Comp settlement based on the nature, scope and details of your injury, prognosis, treatment plan, level of disability and ability to do your job.

For more information on each step in the process, click the following links:

The Workers Compensation Process Can Be Complicated-We Can Help!

We've been helping injured workers for over 3 decades. Don't miss out on a potentially huge settlement by thinking you should just let your boss or the HR folks handle it. With an experienced legal advocate in your corner, you can pursue every penny you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Matthews & Megna today at (803) 799-1700 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

Filing Work Comp Forms

In South Carolina, the Workers Compensation application process does not always give injured employees a favorable chance at winning a fair settlement. Though many workplace injuries arise out of complicated situations-such as a factory worker injured while operating heavy machinery to move inventory or a hospital worker injured from repetitive motions such as lifting patients into beds and pushing wheelchairs through busy wards- the forms offer little space in which to detail the circumstances of a job-related injury. Worse, you don't fill out the forms; your boss does.

Starting with the initial forms that must be filled out, the employer often decides what information is submitted and each form offers very limited amounts of space in which your on-the-job injury can be properly described. For example, on what is called the "S.C. Workers Compensation Commission - First Report of Injury or Illness" form, the "Carrier/Claims Administrator" is the party who fills it out-that is, the claims adjuster, with the help of your boss. The field entitled "Specific Activity the Employee was Engaged in When Accident or Illness Exposure Occurred" is only a few inches long, enough for one short sentence, as is the field in which to describe the "Work Process the Employee Was Engaged In When Accident or Illness Exposure Occurred."

As a result, before your forms have even been filed, your job-related injury has been reduced to a few words. You have to fight to be heard, and you deserve us on your side. We can speak for you loud and clear. We know how the Workers Compensation system works in South Carolina and we will stand up for your rights.

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Dealing With Your Boss

Whether you have an injury from a construction site accident that sent you to the emergency room in an ambulance or the slowly progressing pain of an occupational injury like repetitive stress from typing at a keyboard every day, bringing up the issue of Workers Compensation with your employer can be awkward. If you've been at the job for a long time or your boss is a friend or family member, asking to file a claim for a job-related injury or chronic pain is even tougher.

Fortunately, you don't have to handle your workplace injury on your own. We can help with every phase of the process, including notifying your employer on your behalf. We're used to working with employers to make the entire process easier on everyone.

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Dealing With Insurance Adjusters

Workers Compensation insurance adjusters are the people who decide what amount of settlement money will be appropriated to cover medical bills, hospitalization, physical therapy and/or lost wages after your workplace injury. They're accustomed to dealing with injured workers who are vulnerable and in pain after suffering from a work accident injury. Unfortunately, many will take advantage of your weakened state and pressure you into signing off on a "low-ball" settlement.

The reality is there's often a much higher number they're prepared to offer in order to keep your case from going to trial. You just need a tough lawyer at your side to get them to name that figure, and that's what we at Matthews & Megna do for our clients every day.

With our diligent legal representation, the adjuster for your claim can be made fully aware of the magnitude of your job-related injuries, pain and suffering, from a strained back and broken bones to traumatic head injury or emotional distress due to workplace harassment. We help to ensure that insurance companies can't minimize your job injury.

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Dealing With Doctors

It's common for hard-working South Carolinians to downplay injuries, especially those due to workplace accidents.  But EMTs, doctors and insurance companies can only go by what you tell them.

After a job-related injury, you may be sent for an "Independent Medical Exam" or IME. Unfortunately, many IME physicians will diminish worker injuries because they know that will allow the adjusters to pressure you into accepting a "low-ball" settlement. We can help make sure that any doctors, orthopedic surgeons or vocational therapists you see fully understand and accurately document your injury. Your health and your recovery matter most.

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South Carolina Work Comp Laws

Workers Compensation insurance coverage is mandatory in South Carolina for most employers who have over three employees, with a few industry-specific exceptions.  The law holds employees who are injured or who die in accidents related to their jobs may expect compensation. Insurance pays for any necessary medical treatment, loss of wages during a period of disability, and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement.

These laws can be hard to understand. With two decades of experience in representing work injury victims, we can guide you through the process from dealing with your boss to receiving a final benefit payment. We understand how the system works and we're here to help you every step of the way.

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What Is Third-Party Liability?

Workplace accident injuries can be caused by several factors-from defective equipment and faulty machinery to the negligence of vendors, drivers or even customers. You may have suffered a brain injury after falling off a defective ladder in a warehouse. You might have first-degree burns due to a malfunctioning restaurant stove. You could have a whiplash from a drunk tractor-trailer driver who rear-ended your company car on your way to a meet a client.

In all of these cases, a third party was the cause of your on-the-job injury: The ladder manufacturer, the stove maker and the commercial trucking company. Third-party liability accidents can be complicated, but we can help. When you document and discuss your workplace injury, be sure to include details about any third-party person, vehicle, product or machine that may have been involved in your injury. You also need to describe your workplace accident injuries thoroughly so that every responsible party can be held accountable. We have years of experience handling third-party workplace accident claims. As your attorney, we will handle everything from negotiating lost wages to medical bills to vocational rehabilitation.

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