The South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., understand how a work-related injury can dramatically impact your life. If you are injured on the job and unable to work as a result, you are likely concerned about supporting yourself and your family. The South Carolina workers’ compensation system is intended to help people like you. However, many legitimate claims for workers’ compensation benefits are initially denied. You have the right to appeal the denial, but the appeals process can be intimidating. Having an experienced workers’ compensation appeals attorney on your side can help.
If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina, you have a limited period of time to make an appeal. Contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., today at (803) 435-8894 or use our online contact form for a free consultation. Our firm has more than 120 years of combined experience assisting injured South Carolinians, treating each client like family.
When you call Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., you won’t be talking to an automated service. You’ll get to speak directly with a workers’ compensation lawyer who has extensive knowledge of South Carolina’s workers’ comp system and is committed to your case from start to finish.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process
If you have been injured on the job, the first step is to report the accident or injury to your employer. You must report the injury within 90 days or risk losing your workers’ compensation benefits. After that, you must file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).
Your employer may agree to your claim or deny it. If your employer accepts the claim, you will be covered for medical treatment related to the injury and receive wage-replacement benefits while you are unable to work. If your employer denies the claim, you have the right to appeal your claim to the SCWCC.
The steps in the workers’ compensation appeals process include:
- Hearing – A worker has the right to request a hearing if the employer fails to report the accident or injury, the employer denies the injury or claims the injury is not work-related, or if an employee believes that he or she did not receive all the benefits he or she is entitled to. In order to request a hearing, Form 50 must be completed and filed with the SCWCC. The hearing will be held in front of one of seven commissioners who rotate between seven districts every two months.
At the hearing, both the employer and the employee have the opportunity to present their version of events. Although a workers’ compensation hearing is more informal, it proceeds much like a case in front of a civil court judge. Both sides are able to introduce evidence and give testimony in support of their position. The commission will then consider the evidence and testimony and render a decision. Both the employer and the employee then have the option of appealing the commissioner’s decision. An appeal at this stage of the process must be filed within 14 days of the date the decision is handed down by the commissioner.
- Panel hearing – Decisions made by a single commissioner in a hearing are appealed to a panel of commissioners. The first appeal will be heard by a panel of three commissioners. Appeals from that decision are heard by a panel of six commissioners, known as the Full Commission. The Full Commission consists of all the commissioners except the commissioner whose original decision was appealed. An appeal from the Full Commission must be filed within 30 days of the date the decision is handed down by the panel. In order to appeal to the three-panel commission or the Full Commission, a claimant must file form 30.
- Court appeal – For injuries that occurred prior to July 1, 2007, an appeal from the Full Commission must be filed with the Circuit Court. For injuries that occurred after July 1, 2007, appeals from the Full Commission must be filed with the Court of Appeals. If either the claimant or the employer wishes to appeal the decision of the Circuit Court or Court of Appeals, that appeal must be filed with the South Carolina Supreme Court. The South Carolina Supreme Court is the final stop in the appeals process.
- Mediation – At any point in the process, the parties can agree to have the claim mediated at no cost. Both sides, however, must agree to the mediation. Mediation is a less formal method of resolving legal disputes. A trained mediator serves as an impartial “go-between” for both parties to the dispute in an effort to reach a resolution without court intervention.
Our Attorneys Can Help Appeal Your Denied Benefits
The appeals process for a workers’ compensation claim can be lengthy and complex. There are important deadlines that must be met in order to preserve your claim. While your claim is making its way through the appeals process, you may be suffering both from your injuries and financially. In addition, it typically becomes harder to reverse a previous decision at each subsequent stage of the appeals process. For these reasons, the assistance of an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can be invaluable.
The South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Land, Parker & Welch understand the claims and appeals process and know-how to guide you through every step. We can investigate your claim and work to secure all of the evidence necessary to prove your claim, including expert medical testimony when necessary. We understand how important this is to you and your family and will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the benefits you deserve.
Contact Our Manning Workers’ Comp Appeals Attorneys Now
The South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., can help you file a claim or appeal a denial of benefits. Our goal is to help you get the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Call (803) 435-8894 or use our online contact form for a no-cost consultation.