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What Steps to Take to File a Workers Compensation Claim in Beaufort

here are the key steps when filing a workers comp claim in Beaufort

If you were injured at work, you may be qualified to file a workers comp claim and collect benefits in the form of medical care costs, replacement wages and disability benefits (if the injuries result in permanent impairment). Although, in theory, the process is simple, in reality insurance companies make it as difficult as possible.

You will need an experienced Beaufort workers comp lawyer to help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to. However, before you discuss with an attorney, you must remember to follow certain steps in order to protect your legal claim. These are:

Report Your Workplace Accident to Your Employer

South Carolina workers compensation law gives you 90 days to report your accident to your employer. In reality, you should give your supervisor or a member of the HR staff verbal notification of the accident immediately after it happened.

Most definitely, you will be asked to take an alcohol and drug test on the spot. This is your employer’s right, because workers comp does not cover accidents resulting from being under the influence. Refusing to take the test will most likely result in the denial of your claim.

Remember to send a written notification of your workplace accident to your employer, as well. It is important to create a clear paper trail from the very beginning.

Document the Circumstances of Your Accident

Although the workers comp system is not fault based, you still must prove that:

  • You were on the clock when the accident happened (accidents during the lunch break and outside working hours are not covered)
  • You were performing your regular job duties when you got injured

To prove this, make sure to document the accident scene, including time stamps in your photos and videos. If it is possible to prove that you were at your specially assigned work station or bench, make sure to include the tag with your name in the photos, as well.

Also, ask any co-workers who saw the accident happening to provide a short statement describing what they saw.

Seek Emergency Medical Care

You should go to the nearest ER or hospital as soon as possible after the workplace accident to receive medical care. Remember to tell the consulting physician the exact nature of your accident, so they can include this mention in their report and corroborate it with the nature of your injuries.

let a lawyer help you file a claim for workers comp benefits

If you are referred for further treatment to a specialist, contact your employer and ask them to refer them to one of their approved healthcare providers. As your Beaufort workers comp attorney will explain, employers have the right to select your treating physician. If you go to a doctor of your choice, your treatment costs may not be covered by benefits.

Make Sure that Your Employer Reports Your Accident

After you report your work related accident to your employer, they are obliged to file Form 50 with the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission. If you believe that your employer is trying to avoid paying benefits, you can also file the claim on your own.

Since you only get one chance of filing for workers comp benefits, you should let an experienced lawyer help you fill in the form, prepare the supporting documents and submit them.

Attend the Independent Medical Exam

After you inform your employer of the nature and extent of your injuries and your intent to file a workers comp claim, they will usually demand an independent medical exam. This examination is conducted by a doctor appointed by your employer.

Here are some of the most important things to remember:

  • You cannot refuse attending this examination
  • You must be honest about your injuries – do not downplay and do not exaggerate them
  • You should not volunteer any information about your medical history if you are not asked
  • Make sure that you have a clear recollection of the accident and you do not contradict yourself
  • Bring a friend with you to observe the examination (without interfering) and note everything said by everyone present

Consult with an Experienced Beaufort Workers Comp Lawyer!

Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies try to avoid paying workers comp benefits if they can get away with it. For this reason, you should start your claim with legal representation by your side.

An experienced Beaufort workers comp lawyer at McDougall Law Firm will make sure that your paperwork is accurate and filed on time and will negotiate with the adjuster assigned to your case.

We offer each new client a free case review so call or text us as soon as possible after your workplace accident at 843-379-7000!