Steps to Take After Being Denied Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina

In South Carolina, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees injured while on the job. This compensation is intended to assist in paying for medical bills and missed time at work.

While workers’ compensation is often seen as a protected right, there are many circumstances under which compensation is denied. If you have received a denial, then you should note that an appeals process is available for you to fight the initial decision. 

There are four basic steps involved in the appeals process. 

Request a Hearing 

If you receive a denial, then your first course of action should be to file a request for a hearing. This hearing is a formal process that aims to resolve any disputes between yourself, your employer and your employer’s representative. 

In order to request a hearing, you can either both contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission of South Carolina directly and request a form, or you can obtain the form on the official WCC website.

Your hearing will be overseen by a single commissioner, who will hear your case, resolve disputes and determine whether you should be approved for benefits.

If you receive a positive outcome, the process ends. If not, the next step comes into play.

Appeal to the Full Commission

The next level of appeal involves filing a request for commission review. You should note before taking this step that it can be expensive. The filing fee is $150 — and that fee may be increased if the commission finds you lacked solid reasoning for bringing the case forward.

The decision made in this case is called an “award.” You will receive an award notification, along with legal rulings that detail the findings of your case.

In the vast majority of situations, whether the claim has been approved or denied, the process ends after this step. But, in rare cases, injured employees may choose to take their claim to the next level.

The South Carolina Court of Appeals

At this point, you will be required to file an official lawsuit with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. You will have thirty days from the date of your award notification.

In your filing, you must state your reasoning for the appeal and explain why you believe the decision is incorrect. This is rarely done without the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, who can help put your case into legal terms.

During this time, your employer is still required to pay you weekly cash benefits and medical care — but only while the appeal is pending.

The South Carolina Supreme Court

If you lose in the South Carolina Court of Appeals, then you need to make a decision about whether to move forward. Legal battles can be costly, and you should closely consider the details of your case with the assistance of an attorney.

Should you choose to move forward, you will file an appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court. It is important to note that not all appeals are heard, as the court has the right to choose which cases it will preside over.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance

Are you dealing with a denial of your workers’ compensation benefits? The time has come to fight for the assistance you deserve. For representation, contact our team of South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. by calling (803)-324-7200.

Additional Reading:

Most Dangerous Occupations: What That Means for Worker’s Compensation Cases

most dangerous occupations

Although workplace injuries can occur in virtually any industry, some occupations are more dangerous than others. Here are the top six most dangerous industries for workers in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 report on nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Do you or a loved work in one of them?

  1. Forestry and Logging

For decades, logging and forestry has consistently been reported as one of the top industries in the country for worker fatalities – and in 2015, 132.7 per 100,000 workers were killed due to a work injury. Loggers and forestry workers are particularly vulnerable to fatal workplace injuries due to their work in rough terrain and in rural areas with few medical resources.

  1. Agriculture, Fishing, and Hunting

Closely following the forestry and logging industry is the agricultural industry, including fishing, and hunting. Though the high risk of these professions may be initially surprising, studies show that approximately 100 agriculture workers are seriously injured every day and nearly 400 workers die each year due to an agricultural workplace injury.

  1. Transportation and Warehousing

Transportation and warehousing account for over seven million jobs, and they also account for a large percentage of workplace injuries and fatalities. In 2015, 201,600 transportation and warehousing workers were injured and 799 were killed in work-related accidents. The most dangerous jobs within this industry are couriers with 6.8 injuries per 100 workers, followed by air transportation workers with 5.8 injuries per 100 workers, then by warehousing and storage workers with 4.9 injuries per 100 workers.

  1. Health Care

Health care is another industry with a surprisingly high number of workplace injuries. Every day, healthcare workers deal with hazards such as radioactive material, bloodborne pathogens, waste anesthetic gas, and chemicals such as formaldehyde, ethylene oxide and peracetic acid. Because of these hazards, 4.3 healthcare workers out of 100 were injured in 2015. Caregivers at nursing homes and residential care facilities are even more at risk with 6.8 injuries per 100 workers, closely followed by hospital workers with six injuries per 100 workers.

  1. Manufacturing

Heavy machinery, hazardous substances and high physical demands can make the manufacturing industry an unsafe work environment. In 2015, 466,500 manufacturing workers were injured on the job. Wood product manufacturing workers are injured at the highest rate with 5.9 injuries per 100 workers.

  1. Retail

Though retail jobs do not typically involve hazardous substances or heavy machinery, the retail industry has a surprisingly high rate of workplace injuries and illnesses, with 3.5 injuries per 100 workers in 2015. Most of these injuries are not the result of a sudden accident or mistake, but rather sprains, pain, soreness and carpal tunnel syndrome due to overexertion and repetitive movements.

Do You Need a Worker’s Compensation Accident Lawyer in South Carolina?

If you’ve been injured at work in Rock Hill, Lancaster, or Fort Mill, South Carolina, then call personal injury attorney F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. today. We fight again the insurance companies to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for your worker’s comp case. Schedule your free case evaluation today or call us at: