How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in South Carolina

            Employees who are injured on the job in South Carolina as a result of a work-related accident are generally entitled to benefits through the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation benefits are provided through an insurance policy your employer carries with their workers’ compensation carrier that provides medical benefits, payment of disability benefits if an employee is unable to work and, potentially, payment for any permanent disability that might result from an employee’s work injury.

Provide Notice Of Your Injury or Accident To Your Employer

            South Carolina law requires that an employee notify their employer of a work-related injury or accident within ninety (90) days of the accident or their claim may be forever barred. This notice requirement does not in and of itself mean that you have to formally file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, it simply means that you must inform and notify your employer within this timeframe. It is always best to notify your employer in writing, whether by completing a First Report of Injury provided by your employer or creating your own written communication – i.e., email, letter, etc. Even if you do not know or realize that you are immediately injured after a work accident, you should notify your employer of the accident simply out of precaution. Upon notice of the accident your employer will report your injury to the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission by filing a Form 12-A.

Filing your Claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission

            If your employer fails to report your injury or denies you certain benefits due under the workers’ compensation system, you will then have to formally file your claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. This can be done by filing a Form 50 if your injury is the result of a specific accident, repetitive trauma or occupational disease. In the event you are filing a death claim as the personal representative of the deceased, the proper document to file is a Form 52. Your claim must be filed within two years of the accident to meet the statute of limitations in South Carolina or your claim may be forever barred. South Carolina’s workers’ compensation statutes allow a party to formally file their claim via registered mail, but it is important that service is properly made on all the necessary parties and the proper filing fee is included.

            In filing your Form 50 Request for a Hearing, the form will provide you two separate options on whether you want to request a hearing or not. In the event you are denied benefits under the Act, you will have to request a hearing before the Commission to present your claim and reason you believe you are owed payment of benefits. In the event the claim is denied and you file a Form 50, your employer’s insurance carrier will likely hire an attorney to represent them and file a responsive Form 51 setting forth their reason for denial. A hearing is usually scheduled within 60-90 days of submitting a Form 50 Request for a Hearing.

An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Is Here To Help

            I always tell people that simply because you are injured on the job does not mean that you have to hire an attorney or that you will even have to file a formal claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, if you have a very serious injury that requires extensive medical treatment and long-term disability, it would be in your best interest to at least speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to make sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to receive.

            With that said, in the event your claim is completely denied or you are denied certain benefits you believe you are entitled to, you will have no choice but to file for a hearing with the Commission. In this event, your employer will certainly have retained a lawyer to represent their interests and you will be at a grave disadvantage if you do not have experienced legal representation to assist. If you have been injured on the job and are in need of a workers’ compensation attorney in Charleston, South Carolina, please feel free to contac the Law Office of Jared C. Williams, LLC to speak with us about your rights. We are always happy to see if we can be of assistance.