As your workers compensation lawyer in Spartanburg, SC from Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. may explain during a consultation, workers’ compensation insurance provisions cover most employees who get injured at work or sick from something in their work environment. However, some states set a minimum number of employees an employer must maintain before that employer is required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for its workers.
Also, classifications of American workers are generally excluded from access to workers’ compensation benefits. While these classifications vary somewhat by state, here are a few of the categories of employees that our workers compensation lawyer in Spartanburg want you to know may not be covered:
It is important to note both that there are exceptions to virtually every general workers’ compensation rule and that some workers are unintentionally or intentionally misclassified. That means that even if some workers are told by their employers that they aren’t eligible for benefits, this might not be true.
If you’ve been injured on the job and have questions about your eligibility for benefits, consider scheduling a consultation with a Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer at Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. After we learn more about your job, we can guide you through your legal rights and options.
Non-Employees Excluded From Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Business owners may be surprised to learn that in most states, they are not covered by their own workers’ compensation policies. Our Spartanburg, SC workers compensation lawyer knows that a few states, such as Washington, do allow owners, partners, and sole proprietors to buy into the program for an additional premium.
Volunteers are those who do work for a nonprofit or charitable organization without pay. Since they do not receive compensation for their efforts, they are not considered employees and are therefore not covered by workers’ compensation programs. Some organizations may choose to purchase coverage for volunteers anyway, but it is not required by law.
Workers’ compensation insurance does cover volunteer firefighters and volunteer law enforcement officers. Volunteer first responders injured while performing their duties may benefit from speaking with us as Poliakoff & Associates, P.A, as filing related workers’ comp claims can be a little tricky under these circumstances.
Independent contractors (ICs) are not considered employees, even though they do receive payment for their work. ICs are treated as business owners for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage and are therefore excluded from most plans.
Federal Employees Excluded From Workers’ Compensation Coverage
A workers compensation lawyer serving South Carolina shares that federal employees are generally covered by the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) rather than by traditional workers’ compensation plans. Those covered by FECA include dockworkers and postal workers, for example. A different federal act, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), covers railroad employees.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers those employees who work on the waters and piers of the United States. Nevertheless, if you work in one of these industries and have questions about what benefits you’re entitled to, our team can point you in the right direction.
Where Can I Find Help in Determining Whether I’m Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you get injured at work, a knowledgeable and experienced Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine what benefits you are eligible for, if any. To protect your rights and eligibility, seek counsel from Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. as soon as possible after your injury, so you don’t inadvertently waive, compromise, or void your eligibility for benefits.
Do workers’ compensation benefits include pain and suffering?
If you were injured while on the job, you may be wondering if your pain and suffering can be submitted as damages in your workers compensation claim. Pain and suffering are considered non-physical damages and are a common component of personal injury claims. However, personal injury claims are different from workers compensation claims in several ways. The laws governing these types of claims can be confusing, which is why you may be best served by hiring our team for clarity.
What are considered general compensatory damages?
When settling a claim, the workers compensation insurance carrier breaks down the employee’s injuries into one or more categories. One category is referred to as general compensatory damages. This is used to describe damages that are often non-physical and are not easy to assign a dollar value. Pain and suffering are two examples, and often requires a seasoned attorney to identify which general compensatory damages are relevant to their client’s case, and furthermore, to assign a dollar value based on legal precedent and current laws.
The pain and suffering experienced by one injured worker will likely be different than others because of the nature and degree of pain and suffering. Other examples include:
Workers compensation does not include coverage for general compensatory damages. If you are suffering from one or more injuries that fall into this category, a SC workers compensation lawyer in Spartanburg can help you determine if it makes more sense to pursue a personal injury lawsuit rather than file for workers’ compensation benefits. All of your damages must be considered, valued, and assessed in total before you may gain a full picture of which course of action will be in your best interest.
Do I need a lawyer if I file for workers’ compensation benefits?
No, you are not required to hire a lawyer, but many people do. This is particularly true of workers who sustained a permanent injury or one that will require more medical care than is covered by workers compensation benefits. Before signing on the dotted line to accept a benefits package, it’s important to consider all the options available to you. If your family member suffered a fatal injury while on the job, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the employer or other parties responsible for causing the accident.
Signs to Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are facing the consequences of an accident that occurred while at work, you may at some point wonder whether it’s in your best interest to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Spartanburg. While workers’ compensation is meant to be a straightforward process, in some cases, you may require the guidance of a workers’ compensation lawyer at Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. It can be hard to know when to take legal action, here are some key signs that may indicate the need for a workers’ compensation lawyer:
Your Claim Has Been Denied
In the event your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you may want to consider contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. It’s likely that you will receive a letter from the insurance company outlining the denial. We can assist by helping you to understand the reason behind the denial and guiding you through the appeals process.
You Are Unable to Return to Work
Sometimes, your injuries may be so severe that you are unable to return to work. When this occurs, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of either weekly payments or a lump sum settlement. Should this occur, it’s not only important that you acquire legal guidance from our team, but also that you follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
You Have Experienced Retaliation From Your Employer
Retaliation in the workplace is a form of discrimination that is considered illegal. If you filed a workers’ compensation claim only to experience job loss or unfair treatment in the workplace, you will need a workers’ compensation lawyer from South Carolina to assist you in managing the most appropriate way to move forward.
A Third Party Can Be Held Responsible
While you may have been injured at work, a third party’s negligence may have been responsible for the accident you have suffered. If this is the case, you may be able to take legal action in the form of a personal injury claim. Some of the time, you may even be entitled to workers’ compensation from your employer as well.
Choose an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Spartanburg, SC
It’s important that you not choose just any lawyer to represent you in your case. You will need Poliakoff & Associates, P.A., a firm with experience in representing workers’ compensation cases. If you are considering the support of a lawyer, consider the following:
While not all work related accidents require guidance from an attorney, you may be able to put your best foot forward with their help. Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. can provide great support to accident victims. The time ahead can be full of a significant number of challenges, especially when managing serious injuries that impact your ability to work.
If you are wondering whether you should contact a Spartanburg workers’ compensation lawyer in SC from Poliakoff & Associates, P.A., take advantage of the complimentary consultation offered by many lawyers to learn more.