Workers’ comp claims are sometimes denied. If you’re employed by a business in Charleston or anywhere in South Carolina, the state’s worker’s compensation laws were designed specifically to protect you if you’re injured on the job. In fact, the regulations overseeing South Carolina’s worker’s comp benefits – 19 chapters of them – are long and complex simply because they’re designed to cover just about any workplace injury and situation.
But just because the laws were designed for worker protection, that doesn’t mean your employer’s insurance company is going to welcome a claim with open arms; in fact, many South Carolina worker’s comp claims are denied every year, resulting in many legitimately-injured employees missing out on significant benefits. Even if you decide to fight a claims denial, unless you have a deep knowledge of those 19 chapters of law, your chances of having a denial overturned are very slim.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
If your claim is denied, it’s important to know that you have a deadline by which time you must file an appeal. In South Carolina, workers whose claims are denied can request a hearing enabling your claim to be reviewed and evaluated by one or more state worker’s compensation commissioners charged with making an independent and unbiased opinion on your claim.
Here’s how the appeals process works:
- A hearing request is filed with the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission, the administrative body that handles claims reviews as well as violations of the state’s worker’s comp laws.
- In most cases, your claim will be reviewed first by one commissioner.
- If that commissioner upholds the denial, you may request to have a review by three members of the commission.
- If the denial is still upheld, you can appeal to the state Court of Appeals or, ultimately, the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Having an Experienced South Carolina Workers’ Comp Attorney is Essential
Each level of the appeals process has its own procedures and rules, including very strict deadlines for filing and responding. Evidence will need to be gathered and presented to support your claim and show why the denial is unfair, and the type of evidence and the manner in which it’s presented can vary significantly, depending on which part of the appeals process you’re facing. Without a a skilled worker comp attorney by your side, understanding how to present your case effectively so you can succeed in the hearing process is virtually impossible. Remember: Your employer’s insurance company has its own skilled attorneys fighting to protect their decision, so in order to prevail, you need to ensure you have the advantage of having your own legal counsel who’s focused on your rights.
As one of South Carolina’s workers’ comp attorneys, E. Lindsay Blanks helps clients in and around Charleston protect their rights if their workers’ comp claim has been denied. His experience successfully handling workers’ comp denials has made him a well respected workers’ comp attorney for clients in and around Charleston, enabling workers to gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing their rights are being represented at every level.
If your claim has been denied, the clock is already ticking on your appeals process. Call our office today at (843) 863-1800 and schedule your consultation so we can get started as soon as possible.