Workers’ Compensation

Workers' Compensation

SOUTH CAROLINA WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWYER

Upstate South Carolina is heavily industrialized. The people who work here work hard and, unfortunately, they sometimes pay for that hard work with serious injuries.

Before the workers' compensation system was created, workers could sue negligent employers for injuries they suffered on the job. But now, workers' compensation is the primary remedy for workers who are injured or suffer illness because of their working conditions. While workers' compensation has made it easier to recover money for your injuries or illness, it also limits the amount of compensation you might be able to receive.

As a Spartanburg/Greenville workers' compensation lawyer and founder of the Patrick E. Knie Law Offices, I have been helping injured workers throughout South Carolina get the compensation they need for more than 35 years.

DEDICATED REPRESENTATION DESIGNED TO ADDRESS ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS

The workers' comp system is complex. When you have been injured on the job, you will likely have many questions, including:

I can help answer any questions you may have regarding your claim for compensation. Remember that you have rights, including the right to workplace accommodations and the right not to be discriminated against or fired for your disability. I make sure your rights are respected.

IMMEDIATE STEPS TO TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO COMPENSATION

The sooner an injured worker gets legal advice, the better. Many things can happen right after your injury that can have an impact on your workers' comp case down the road. The steps you take now can have a significant effect on your later recovery.

  • Immediately report your injury to your supervisor.
  • Document your injury, illness or disabling condition to your employer and doctors.
  • Get the names of any witnesses if you were injured in an accident at work (I will get a statement from them).
  • Make sure your injury is treated properly so you have the best chance for full recovery.

WHOSE DOCTOR? WHO DECIDES ON TREATMENT?

If the company does not admit that you were injured in a work accident, you will need to seek your own medical treatment. As your lawyer, I work to help you prove your claim that your illness, head injury, back injury, shoulder injury, carpal tunnel injuries or other repetitive stress injuries were work-related.

If the company admits that your injury is work-related, it has the right to choose the doctor you will see. Too often the company-picked doctor is not the right kind of doctor for the particular medical condition. Rather than referring an injured worker to a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic doctor for diagnosis and treatment, they send the worker to a general practice physician. That doctor may not do the right kind of diagnostic testing to get an accurate or complete diagnosis.

If this is the situation you are in, I will bring your case before the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission to request a specialist. The Commission may order a different doctor or additional, more sophisticated tests (such as an MRI instead of an X-ray).

RETURNING TO WORK

It's common for the company doctor to certify that an injured worker is ready to go back to work before the injured worker is actually fully healed, or before the worker's own physician says he or she is ready to return. Going to work too soon may set back your physical recovery or make you vulnerable to additional injury.

If you feel your employer is pressuring you, or the company doctor has wrongly determined you need to go back to work, I can again take your case to the Workers' Compensation Commission to ask for an independent second opinion.

OTHER OPTIONS AFTER A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT

Sometimes when a personal injury happens at work there may be additional remedies available to the injured worker. This is especially true when a dangerous or defective product causes the accident, or when an independent contractor or third party is negligent. People who are suffering from mesothelioma may also be entitled to special compensation.

CONTACT A SPARTANBURG & GREENVILLE WORKERS' COMP LAWYER

If you have suffered an injury at work, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact me, a Spartanburg/Greenville workers' compensation attorney, online. Consultations are free and confidential.

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