If you’ve been injured at work, the South Carolina workers’ compensation system is designed to help you obtain medical treatment, compensate you for time missed from work, and compensate you for future impairments or disabilities. However, it can be difficult to understand when you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney for your case. This article will discuss when it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced workers compensation lawyer, things to look out for in your workers’ compensation case, mistakes to avoid, and much more.

The award-winning South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC are here to help you recover after an accident on the job. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a reputable attorney for free, contact our office today by calling (803) 888-2200, emailing info@ctlawsc.com or submitting our secure online case evaluation request form.

When Should I Call a Workers Compensation Attorney?

In South Carolina, the workers compensation system can be difficult to navigate on your own. From protecting yourself from making common mistakes to ensuring your case is fully optimized for the best outcome possible, there are many benefits to hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. While it’s always a good idea to speak with a lawyer after an on-the-job injury, it is especially important to consult with an attorney if:

1. Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied

One of the most common situations we see is an employer or its insurance company arguing that the injury or illness did not actually happen at work and/or denying the claim altogether. This is especially true for repetitive strain injuries; however, if your claim was denied for any reason, you should call our office today. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help optimize your claim and aggressively appeal denied claims.

Related Resource – What To Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied in SC

2. You’ve Suffered Serious Injuries

When a work injury leads to serious or catastrophic injuries, it is in your and your family’s best interest to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer. This includes injuries such as back injuries, neck injuries, joint injuries, broken bones, injuries requiring surgery, injuries requiring specialist treatment such as orthopedists, neurologists, and similar, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, injuries resulting in death, and more. Hiring an attorney after serious accidents will ensure you and your loved ones are getting adequate compensation for all past, present, and future needs related to the accident. 

3. You’re Not Being Taken Seriously

If your employer is not taking action on your workers’ compensation claim or ignores your injury report, then you should contact an experienced lawyer to make sure your case is moving forward and that you don’t miss any critical deadlines. Having a lawyer on your side will ensure that you are being taken seriously.

4. You’re Out of Work For at Least a Week

If you’re unable to return to work for at least a week after an on-the-job injury, you should discuss your situation with a lawyer. A lawyer will help ensure that you are receiving compensation while you are recovering, known as temporary total disability benefits.

5. Your Injuries or Illness Prevent You From Returning to Work in the Same Capacity or From Returning at All

If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious injury preventing them from returning to the same role or to work at all, a lawyer can greatly help your case. When injuries are this serious, such as resulting in permanent partial or permanent total disability, you will likely face more pushback from the insurance company, as they will likely try to limit your compensation. We won’t let this happen.

6. You Currently Receive or Plan to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation benefits can impact SSDI payments. A qualified South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help draft your workers’ compensation settlement agreement to minimize the impact it has on your SSDI payments.

7. You Face Discrimination From Your Employer

In South Carolina, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you or fire you simply because you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim. If you’ve faced any discrimination from your employer after filing a workers’ compensation claim, call our office today.

8. You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

Insurance companies want to protect their business. If you have any history of pre-existing conditions on the area of your body that has been injured on the job, they will likely limit or deny your claim. When this happens, a lawyer can help optimize your comp claim using their experience and ample resources.

9. You Think You May Have a Third-Party Claim

If your accident involves a third party, such as a negligent driver or a defective product, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your options under SC law. Our law firm has both workers’ compensation attorneys and dedicated personal injury attorneys, so we have vast experience handling both types of claims.

10. The Settlement Offer is Not Sufficient

If the settlement offer does not cover all of your past, present, and future lost wages and medical needs, it’s in your best interest to review the offer with an experienced attorney before accepting it. Even if the offer seems good, we recommend at least reviewing it with a lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.

While this list is a great place to start, it’s always beneficial to at least speak with a workers’ compensation attorney after any work injury or illness. Plus, at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, speaking with a lawyer is entirely complimentary. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job and you have any questions about the process or your options, we’d be honored to meet with you. Simply call our office at (803) 888-2200 to speak directly with an award-winning lawyer in-person or over the phone.

When You Likely Don’t Need a Workers Comp Lawyer

Depending on the specifics of your accident, you may be able to handle your workers’ compensation claim on your own. You may be able to represent yourself if you only suffered very minor injuries.

Even if you think you’ll be able to handle it on your own, it’s a good idea to call our office for a free case evaluation. We can explain the process to you, give you honest feedback on your options under state law, and recommend the next steps to take moving forward.

How Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me?

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina will:

  • Ensure you meet all deadlines required under SC law
  • Correctly complete all necessary forms
  • Gather critical evidence, such as medical records, opinions, and more
  • Conduct depositions
  • Get witness testimony
  • Get supportive statements for your case
  • Fully optimize your claim
  • Aggressively negotiate with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney
  • Optimize the settlement agreement specific to your needs
  • Represent you at any workers’ compensation hearings
  • Go to court for you if a fair settlement cannot be reached
  • Help you understand any other available claims or benefits
  • Keep you up-to-date on the status of your case and what to expect next

Get a Free Consultation With a Reputable Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you have any questions about the SC workers’ compensation system, your case, or would like to get input from a lawyer, contact our team today by calling (803) 888-2200. With over 60 years of combined experience and offices in Columbia and Mount Pleasant, our team has the experience and resources needed to get you the entirety of what you deserve. 

About the Author – Nicholas J. Skorzewski

I’m Nick Skorzewski, and I am a partner and workers’ compensation attorney at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC. I’m proud to represent injured employees and help them and their families get back on track after unexpected accidents. I’m humbled by the fact that my hard work and results for my clients has led to numerous awards in the field, such as the Legal Elite of the Midlands, America’s Top 50 Lawyers, Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, and more. Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC has also been named by FreeTimes as the Best Workers’ Compensation Firm in Columbia, SC for two years in a row. If you’d like to learn more about being a client at our firm, I encourage you to read our reviews. And, if you have any questions about the South Carolina workers’ compensation system, please contact me today at (803) 888-2200. I’d be honored to help.