The fundamental premise of workers’ compensation insurance is that covered workers should not have to pay for any medical expenses they accrue as a result of a workplace accident. Importantly, though, the bills you receive from a hospital or primary care physician are rarely the only “expenses” related to medical care, especially if you have to drive a long distance to get to and from doctor visits and physical therapy appointments.
If you track the distance you travel for medical care following a workplace injury, you may be eligible to seek reimbursement for the miles you traveled through workers’ comp. A workers’ compensation attorney could explain in detail how mileage reimbursement in a Greenville workers’ compensation case works during an initial consultation.
What Mileage Can Be Reimbursed?
As established in South Carolina Code of Regulations §67-1601, a person who has to travel five miles or more in order to receive medical care following an accident at work is eligible to seek reimbursement for the mileage they traveled. The rate at which mileage is compensated changes each day in accordance with the amount state employees receive for mileage traveled during work. In 2020, the mileage reimbursement rate for Greenville workers’ compensation claims is 57.5 cents per mile.
In addition to reimbursement per mile traveled, individual covered under workers’ compensation can also seek reimbursement for certain other actual costs of travel, if applicable. These include expenses from public transportation such as bus fares, accommodation costs if a hotel stay is required, and reasonable costs for subsistence. A qualified attorney could help an individual workers’ comp claimant determine what expenses they could seek reimbursement for in their unique situation.
The Importance of Keeping Accurate Records
In order to be reimbursed for travel expenses related to a workplace injury, a workers’ comp claimant in Greenville must keep accurate written records of exactly where and when they traveled to various appointments. These records should include the exact number of miles they traveled, each date on which they traveled, and which healthcare provider(s) they went to see. It may also be helpful to keep printouts from Google Maps or a similar GPS service of what routes were taken to various appointments.
It is generally best practice for workers’ comp claimants to submit mileage reimbursement claims on a month-to-month basis, rather than waiting until they have fully recovered from their injury or reached maximum medical improvement. Assistance from legal counsel can be critical to keeping thorough mileage logs and ensuring that a claimant receives reimbursement from their employer’s workers’ comp representative in a timely fashion.
A Greenville Attorney Could Help Seek Mileage Reimbursement in a Workers’ Comp Claim
One of the many essential rules for receiving workers’ compensation after getting hurt at work is seeking treatment from the specific doctor(s) your employer selects and attending every appointment necessary to get you as healthy as possible. Fortunately, if your employer’s preferred doctor is a long way away from home, you can—and should—seek compensation for both the bills you pay for medical services and the travel expenses you took on to receive them.
Mileage reimbursement in a Greenville workers’ compensation case may seem like a straightforward process on paper, but even a single mistake could have a costly impact on your future. Maximize your chances of case success by getting in touch with a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer today.