What Does a Workers Compensation Lawyer Do?
Workers’ compensation attorneys represent eligible workers who have been injured or become ill on the job and help them get the benefits they’re entitled to under the law. While workers are not required to have a lawyer represent them throughout the claims process, workers’ compensation lawyers can be an invaluable help, especially when the claim is not straightforward. Here are some of the things workers’ compensation attorneys do.
Explain and Ensure You Get the Benefits You’re Entitled To
Workers’ compensation benefits can include lost wages, medical expenses, and benefits for partial or total disability according to a schedule. The exact amounts an injured or ill worker is entitled to depends on their wages and the nature and severity of their injuries or illness.
You may start receiving benefits through workers’ comp only to discover you’re not receiving the full amount you were expecting. In this situation, a workers’ comp attorney will review your claim and work with you to get you the compensation you’re entitled to under the law.
A workers’ comp attorney can also manage expectations about what you are eligible to receive. Lost wages, for example, are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage, not 100%. Also, unlike personal injury claims in civil court, where plaintiffs may be compensated for pain and suffering and similar damages, the workers’ comp system limits the type and amount of benefits you can receive.
Help You After Your Claim was Denied (Or Was Never Filed)
Sometimes a claim is denied by the insurance company. (Check out this blog for possible reasons your workers’ comp claim was denied.) Occasionally, it turns out that the claim was never filed at all.
In both of these situations, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you move your claim forward so you can get the benefits you need as you recover from your injury or illness. If your claim wasn’t filed because your employer denies your injury or illness, a workers’ comp attorney will work with you to build a strong case that you can file with the Commission.
Build a Strong Case for Occupational Disease
Workers’ compensation pays compensation to workers who have developed a covered disease or illness directly as a result of their working conditions. However, it can be significantly more challenging to get compensation for an occupational disease than for an injury. Injuries are acute whereas occupational diseases can develop over time, making it difficult or impossible to pinpoint when it started. It’s usually very clear when an injury occurred on the job, while it may be challenging to prove that an illness or condition was the direct result of working conditions. Pre-existing conditions can also complicate occupational disease claims.
Workers’ compensation attorneys can help build a strong case and gather evidence to improve your chances of a successful claim for occupational disease benefits. Because getting compensation for an occupational disease is more challenging, it’s a good idea to work with a workers’ comp attorney who has had success with occupational disease cases in the past.
Represent You and Prepare You for Hearings
Ideally, your claim would be accepted and processed without delay, and you’d receive the full amount of benefits you’re entitled to. If that doesn’t happen, however, you may need to attend a hearing. This may be necessary if, for example, your employer or their insurance company disputes your claim.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help prepare you for the hearing(s) and let you know what to expect every step of the way. They can (and should) also represent you at the hearing.
Help You Avoid Mistakes
Simple mistakes can derail a workers’ comp claim in South Carolina such as missing a deadline or failing to submit all the required paperwork. Other mistakes come from not knowing the rules, for example, that an injured worker must see the doctor their employer’s insurance selects rather than their own doctor. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you avoid such mistakes that can delay or complicate a claim.
Schedule a Consultation with the Workers’ Comp Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
If you’ve been injured or have developed an occupational disease on the job in South Carolina, contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at The Carolina Law Group. Whether you haven’t yet filed a claim, your claim was denied, you’re not receiving the full amount of benefits you expected, or something else, they can help you no matter what stage you’re at in the process. Call us today at one of the numbers below to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110). Call today.