Workers’ compensation is a mystery to many people across the nation. They know it’s out there, and they may ask in a joking way, “Can I get workers’ comp for this?” when they suffer a minor injury, but few actually know exactly what workers’ compensation is, how it works or what purpose it serves. When the time comes to actually file a workers’ compensation claim, few know what to do and are dissuaded by fear that their boss will somehow stop them. Learn about workers’ compensation in Columbia, South Carolina, what it is, how you can file a claim and how a workers’ compensation attorney can help you get coverage.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp, is a form of insurance that nearly all employers in the United States are required to carry. Its purpose is to protect both employers and employees when someone is injured or becomes ill in the course of their job. If you’re lifting a heavy box and injure your back, if you’re driving to a client’s home and are injured in an accident, if you get sick from construction dust in the air, or any other form of work-related ailment, you can collect workers’ compensation.
Filing a Claim: The First Steps
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation is deceptively simple. It’s important, first of all, to understand that each state has its own laws, and the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission is a great resource for those seeking coverage in South Carolina.
When you’re injured at work, especially if it’s serious, the first thing you need to do is get seen by a doctor. Your health is always paramount. Then, within four days, but as soon as humanly possible, you should inform your employer of the incident to begin paperwork.
Your Employer and the Incident Report
Your employer will provide you two things when you report the injury: a list of approved medical professionals you may see to get treated for your injury under the terms of their workers’ compensation carrier, and some paperwork to file an incident report. When you complete this paperwork, your employer will then submit the report and their side of the story to the carrier. In the best cases, the employer agrees with the injury, the insurer approves it, and you have all your bills, lost wages and recovery costs covered.
When a Claim Is Denied
Sometimes, however, your employer challenges the claim or the insurance company denies it. This is not uncommon and it’s not the end of the world. You can appeal the refusal, but you will need to prove the severity of your injury and your right to coverage. This often requires the services of a qualified Columbia area workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney has experience with these cases and knows how to take the right steps to ensure that your injury is covered.
If this has happened to you, read a bit more about workers’ compensation in the area, and contact us today for a consultation.