If you were injured on the job, you may be concerned about how to afford your medical bills or finally recover for the missed time. Thankfully, many injured workers will meet the requirements for Orangeburg workers’ compensation. For assistance navigating the complex workers’ compensation laws, reach out to a skilled workers compensation lawyer.
Notifying Orangeburg Employers of an Accident
In Orangeburg and every other county in the State of South Carolina, when someone suffers an injury that arises out of and in the course of their employment, the first thing they need to do is provide notice of the accident to their employer. There is a time period of 90 days in South Carolina to give the employer notice of a job-related accident and injury. The injured worker’s case might be barred if they fail to give notice to the employer before the time period expires.
While the act does not require that there be a written notice, from a best practices perspective, a written notice to the employer should be hand-delivered so there is no possibility of the notice being lost in the mail or claims that an email or fax was not received. It is also best to deliver notice with a witness present. If someone tries to claim later that they do not remember the person providing a notice, an independent witness could corroborate that the written notice was delivered by hand.
Seeking Medical Treatment
Once the person gives the required notice, the next thing to do is seek medical care and treatment. Usually, employers under the law offer the person that treatment. Even if the individual approves of the doctor or no medical treatment is offered, they need to get with an attorney early to make sure that the appropriate treatment is given and the insurance company does not exert inappropriate pressure on the doctor to send the injured person back to work before they are ready. The attorney could ensure that the insurance company gives them the proper diagnostic testing to determine the injury and does not do anything that delays the treatment in a way that makes the injury more likely to become permanent or chronic.
These battles take place at the beginning of the case when the person is injured. The insurance company may attempt to keep the injured worker from going to a lawyer to learn their rights by trying to appear like they are trying to help them. No matter how the insurance company treats the individual, their goal is to pay out as little as possible for any medical disability. The injured worker needs to have a lawyer who is experienced in workers’ compensation to document the case appropriately and ensure that they get the medical treatment and the monetary benefits they are entitled to under the law.
Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Orangeburg and the other counties work under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. If someone is a worker who is working on a navigable waterway, they may have a federal protection under the Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. That act also applies to bridge workers, barge workers, crane operators on the water, crane repair people, and anybody else with the situs and the status that brings them under that law.
Although it is a workers’ compensation program, it is different from South Carolina state law. Some things about it are better than South Carolina state law and some things are not. In those cases, typically the worker has concurrent jurisdiction. They are entitled to get benefits under one or both acts. It is advantageous for those workers to seek experienced legal representation to pick the best things from the two systems and try to avoid the things that are not so good about each respective system, to obtain the maximum benefit and the best results for the injured worker. For more information about these laws and the requirements for Orangeburg workers’ compensation, contact an experienced attorney.
Out-of-State Employers or Workers
When someone leaves the State of South Carolina and they leave the federal Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the other 49 states have their own workers’ compensation act and their own laws of how they want to approach a case. When someone is injured in South Carolina, they are hired in South Carolina, or if the employer’s principal place of business is in South Carolina, they have the ability to bring a workers’ compensation case in the State of South Carolina.
Sometimes, people are injured across the border in North Carolina, Georgia, or Florida and they may even qualify for jurisdiction in those states as well. The best thing to do is look to South Carolina and the other state to see which workers’ compensation laws are more favorable to the injured worker. One should choose the jurisdiction that provides the best benefits and proceeds in that state. Many times, that would be in Orangeburg County under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Ask an Attorney About the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation in Orangeburg
If you were injured on the job, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney could explain the requirements for Orangeburg workers’ compensation and help you negotiate with the insurance companies. The workers’ compensation process can be difficult to navigate, but an attorney could fight to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.