South Carolina Workers Comp – Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation laws that we receive from people who have been injured on the at work.

  • How do I report an on-the-job injury?

    Report all injures at work to your employer immediately and request medical treatment, if needed. If you neglect to report the injury within 90 days of the accident you may lose your benefits. However, it is very important that the injury be reported as quickly as possible so that the employer does not claim that the injury did not occur. Although you must report the injury within 90 days, you have up to two years to file a claim for benefits. If a worker dies because of work-related injuries, the workers’ dependents, or parents if there are no dependents, must file a claim within two years of the death to claim benefits.

  • How do I file a claim?

    You may personally file a claim if your employer does not report your accident, denies your injury by accident, or if you believe you did not receive all of your benefits. To file a claim you must submit a Form 50 or Form 52 to the Commission.  When filing a claim on a Form 50 or Form 52, mark the box 13a. which states, “I am filing a claim. I am not requesting a hearing at this time.”  However, if you believe that you are not receiving the benefits that you are entitled, you should contact an attorney immediately so that you can properly request a hearing

  • What medical treatment am I entitled to receive?

    You are entitled to all necessary medical treatment that is likely to lessen your disability. Workers’ compensation generally pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions. Keep in mind that in most circumstances in order to receive these benefits you must go to the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance representative.

  • How is the compensation rate determined?

    You are entitled to compensation at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage based on the four quarters prior to your injury, but no more than the maximum average weekly wage determined each year by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. If you are working two or more jobs at the time of accident, those wages may be included as part of the average weekly wage and compensation rate.

  • Will I get compensated for missing time from work because of my injury?

    The law requires a seven-day waiting period before benefits can be paid. If you are out of work for more than seven days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance representative. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation even for the first seven days. You can expect payments to be made directly to you and these should continue until the doctor releases you to return to work.

  • When are my benefits terminated?

    After the doctor releases you to return to work with or without restrictions, within 150 days of notification of the accident, you should receive two copies of Form 15 with Section II completed indicating that compensation has been stopped and for what reasons. If the insurance carrier stops your compensation, and if you disagree, complete Section III of the Form 15 and send it to the Commission’s Judicial Department. This is your way to request a hearing to be held in sixty (60) days. If the doctor releases you to return to work after the 150-day notification period, your employer or insurance representative will ask you to sign a Form 17 (receipt of compensation) after you have been back to work for 15 days.

  • What if the doctor releases me to light duty? 

    You must accept light work if it is ordered. If you do not accept, all compensation may cease as long as you refuse to return to work. You have a right to a hearing if you believe that you are not able to do the work assigned to you. If you return to light work before you are fully discharged by the doctor at a wage less than you were earning at the time of your original injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation at the rate of  66 2/3% of the difference between your average weekly wage and your new wage.

  • What if I receive an impairment rating?  

    If you receive an impairment rating, then you may be entitled to additional benefits under workers compensation.  We strongly urge anyone who is injured to contact an attorney  if their injury involves a surgery or a impairment to a body part.  Without an attorney you may be required to have a hearing against the insurance company’s doctor.  It has been our practice that insurance company never want to pay what you are entitled to receive based on the level of impairment or disability from your work related injury.

  • Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?

    Yes, if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. Effective August 23, 2004, Commission approved allowance for trips to a pharmacy if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. You should be reimbursed for the round trip mileage at the rate allowed state employees for mileage.

  • Can I get a second opinion if I am not happy with the doctor to whom the insurance carrier refers me?  

    Under certain circumstances you can obtain a second opinion, but the insurance carrier will likely send you to another “insurance company doctor.”  If you need a second opinion, we strongly urge you to contact our firm so that we can obtain a fair and impartial  second opinion from a trusted physician.

  • Who sends me my weekly check?

    Your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees and the insurance carrier will be responsible to pay compensation to you if you are out of work for more than seven days.  If the insurance company has not started you checks, or if your checks are delayed or not timely coming to your address, you need to contact our office immediately to protect your rights.

If you or a loved one has a question about any worker’s compensation issue that you are facing, please do not hesitate to contact us today.   Often times a claim for workers compensation benefits can be tricky to navigate on your own, and the insurance companies can be notorious for my protecting the injured workers so that it can save money.  Don’t put your financial benefits in the hands of a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster without first talking to a seasoned worker’s compensation attorney.  We are here to help, so call the Goings Law Firm today at (803) 350-9230.


Amtrak blames freight train company CSX for deadly South Carolina crash

Amtrak blamed a freight rail operator, CSX Corporation, for causing a crash on Sunday that killed two people and injured more than 100 others when one of its passenger trains was diverted onto a side track and slammed into a parked, unmanned freight train in South Carolina.

In the U.S. passenger rail operator’s third fatal crash in as many months, Amtrak Train 91, carrying nine crew members and 136 passengers, was traveling from New York to Miami when it hit the CSX Corp freight train that was stopped on a side track, or siding, at about 2:35 a.m.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Richard Anderson said CSX was responsible for the tracks and signals, including one that had a lock attached to it and diverted the Amtrak train onto the side track.

“CSX had lined and padlocked the switch off the mainline to the siding, causing the collision,” he said in a statement.

CSX did not address the comments by the Amtrak CEO but said it was working with federal investigators. Both Amtrak and CSX offered their condolences to the families of the two people who died.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Board, told a news conference the section of track was operated by CSX and there was a padlock on the switch that steered train traffic onto the siding.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way,” he said, calling the damage to the locomotives “catastrophic.” An NTSB investigation team was at the site.

Amtrak engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia, and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida, were killed, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters. Autopsies were being conducted, she said.

Two of the 116 people injured were in critical condition after the wreck, which occurred about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the state capital, Columbia.

“It’s a horrible thing to see, to understand what force was involved,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told reporters. “The first engine of the freight train was torn up, and the single engine of the passenger train is barely recognizable.”

Anderson said the passenger train hit the tail end of the CSX train. That train had two locomotives and 34 empty auto racks used to transport cars, the NTSB said.

The passenger train’s locomotive was left lying on its side, and the first car was bent and also derailed, although it remained upright, images from the scene showed.

At least four of the freight train’s cars were crumpled, looking like crushed tinfoil, but remained on the tracks.

The passenger train was part of Amtrak’s Silver Star Service. Officials said some 5,000 gallons of fuel leaked as a result of the collision but that there was no threat to public safety.

If you or a loved one was injured in the Amtrak / CSX train collision in Columbia, South Carolina, please contact the Goings Law Firm immediately to learn about your legal rights.  Trust a South Carolina law firm with the reputation and experience of recovering millions of dollars for its injuries clients.


The Train Collision In Columbia Was Preventable

The train collision that occurred in Columbia on Feburary 4, 2018 was preventable.  It seems like negligent conduct is to blame for this tragic event

A train switch that was apparently locked in the wrong position is being blamed by federal investigators for a train collision early Sunday that killed two people and injured up to 116 others near Cayce.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Sunday afternoon that there’s no evidence of foul play, although the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Sumwalt said the accident could have been avoided if a federal safety system, under consideration for years, had been in place. The system is supposed to slow down trains when a problem lies ahead on a track. He called the damage to the trains “catastrophic.’’

Sumwalt made his remarks after an Amtrak train slammed into a stationary CSX freight train at 2:35 a.m. in Lexington County. An NTSB official declined to say if the accident was the fault of CSX, but noted that CSX is responsible for maintaining proper track position. CSX is the owner of the track but Amtrak uses the line.

If you or a loved one were injured in this train accident, call us today for a free consultation. We are Real Lawyers in Columbia. 803-350-9230


COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

The Goings Law Firm are South Carolina lawyers that represent victims hurt in train collisions.

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSB) suggests that a train wreck or train crash occurs every 2 hours in the United States. There are approximately 3,000 train wreck and crashes per year in the United States. Trains are still used to move products and materials throughout South Carolina but when train wrecks happen, the results are usually catastrophic.  Many factors result in the train accident being more serious because of the speed of the train, the weight of the train and the stopping distance for a train. Train wrecks happen for many reasons but some of the more common are:

  • The train conductor falls asleep or fails to properly operate the train
  • Improper communication between trains, and train conductors and engineers
  • There is a collision with another train
  • A derailment occurs
  • A collision with a car or bus
  • There is a train mechanical failure that leads to an accident
  • The train tracks are too old or improperly serviced or maintained

Since there are many factors that lead to a train wreck, there are many people who can be held responsible for your injury, loss of income, or pain and suffering. While it’s the responsibility of the railroad company to maintain the tracks and the train you ride, truck and car drivers also have the responsibility of following the laws and not attempting to cut across the tracks after the crossbars have been lowered.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a train accident, contact the Goings Law Firm today for a free consultation.  We have the experience to get you the result that you deserve.  Call us today at 803-359-9230


Columbia Cayce South Carolina Train Accident Attorneys – Train Collision on February 4, 2018

Amtrak, CSX train collision in South Carolina leaves 2 dead, 115+ injured

On Sunday morning, February 4, 2018, two people were killed in a crash involving a freight train and an Amtrak passenger train early Sunday in Columbia South Carolina, as the trains were traveling through the town of Cayce.

Amtrak Train 91 was traveling between New York and Miami with 147 people aboard when it collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce. At least 115 people were injured and transported to local hospitals, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.

The crash occurred at about 2:35 a.m., derailing the lead engine and some passenger cars, Amtrak said in a statement. About 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled, authorities estimated, but Cahill said there was “no threat to the public at the time.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation. Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB chairman, told CNN that an NTSB team will arrive in South Carolina Sunday morning to begin the investigation, which should take 12 to 18 months.
Investigators will hold a press conference Sunday afternoon, Sumwalt said.
Amtrak said in a statement the train’s lead engine derailed, as did some passenger cars that was carrying eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board. TV footage from the crash scene showed the aftermath of the collision, with the Amtrak engine on its side and its front crumpled.
If you or a loved one was injured as a results of this collision, please contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC today at (803) 350-9230. We have experience in handling significant personal injury cases in Columbia, South Carolina.

DON’T LET THEM LIE- WORKERS COMPENSATION IS A NO FAULT SYSTEM

WORKERS COMPENSATION IS A NO FAULT SYSTEM

We often help people who have been told by their employer or the insurance company their on the job accident “has been denied by workers comp because they failed to follow a safety rule.”  Sometimes employers mistakenly mislead employees into thinking they can’t bring a claim as a compensable workers compensation accident because the accident occurred as a result of some violated safety rule or was the fault of the employee.  This reasoning is just simply not the law. The South Carolina legislature specifically designed the Workers Compensation Act to be a No Fault System.  So what does no fault mean?

A “No Fault System” means whether the accident (an unexpected event or unintended result) was due to a freak chance of events or due to an actual violation of a work safety rule it is still a compensable accident under the Worker’s Compensation Act. The fault of an injured worker has no bearing on the right to recovery. (See Jones v. Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick, 376 S.C. 375, 656 S.E.2d 772 (S.C. App. 2008).  The only exception to this rule is the willful and intentional act of an employee to hurt themselves. Id.

So, if you were involved in an accident at work through no fault of your own or through your honest mistake it matters not, you are entitled to medical treatment, out of work pay and damages resulting from permanent injury.  Let us answer your questions and guide you through the waters of workers compensation in South Carolina.  For a free consultation call the Goings Law Firm, LLC and ask for the Workers’ Compensation Team lead by Christian E. Boesl, at 803-350-9230.


Workers Compensation FAQ: Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?


Question: Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?

Answer: Yes, if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. Effective August 23, 2004, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission has approved allowance for trips to a pharmacy if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. You should be reimbursed for the round trip mileage at the allowed state employees for mileage. Effective January 1, 2018, the reimbursement rate is 54.5 cents per mile.

If you have any questions or concerns about your case, just give us a call today. It will not cost you anything to see if we can help! The number is (803) 350-9230 and ask to speak with a member of our Workers Compensation team.


I got hurt at work what should I do?

Have you been hurt on the job?  Here is the best advice for what to do if you have been injured at work:

1.  Report the Injury to your Employer

Report all injures at work to your employer immediately and request medical treatment, if needed. If you do not report the injury within 90 days of the accident you may lose your benefits. Although you must report the injury within 90 days, you have up to two years to file a claim for benefits. If a worker dies because of work-related injuries, the workers’ dependents, or parents if there are no dependents, must file a claim within two years of the death to claim benefits.

2.  Request and Seek Medical Treatment

It is important to request and seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to get a proper diagnosis, and to document the nature and extent of your condition.  If you do not request or seek medical treatment for your injuries, the workers’ compensation insurance company will not believe that you are hurt.  Do not delay your medical care!

3.  Contact a Trusting Workers Compensation Attorney to Properly File your Claim

If you have been hurt at work, you need to properly file your claim.  You should file your claim immediately if your employer does not report your accident, fails to provide proper treatment, denies your injury by accident, or if you are not getting the benefits that you deserve.  You can file the claim yourself through a Form 50 and request a hearing, but beware!! The Workers Compensation laws in South Carolina are complex and hard to navigate alone. If you do not file your form properly, and the form is not properly served and correctly filled out, you could lose your case.  The insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend the workers’ compensation to fight against the injured worker.  Insurance company adjusters and lawyers will work to make sure you do not get the benefits that you deserve.  Denying your claim or limiting your recovery is what the insurance company adjusters and their lawyers are paid to do.

The Workers Compensation attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC are trusting, compassionate, and work hard to diligently fight for your rights.  We are a team of award winning lawyers.  We will make sure that your case is on track so that you get all the medical and financial benefits that you deserve.  Contact us today for a free consultation.  We have helped thousands of people– let us help you today.  Call us today at 803-350-9230 for a free consultation.

 


Deadline to Give Notice of an Injury in Worker’s Compensation

When is it too late to give notice of an injury?

Answer:  After 90 days of the injury!

You may have heard this in connection of an accident you had at work from your employer or their insurance carrier.. “I’m sorry because you did not report your injury immediately on the day it happened your claim has been denied and Worker’s Comp. cannot cover you.”   If you have heard this from an insurance company or an employer please know that this is not the law.

Although timely reporting of an injury may help your claim, South Carolina workers compensation laws only require that reporting of an accident and injury to the employer within 90 days of the date of the accident.  In another words…immediately means within 90 days, regardless of the employer’s policies or rules.  This 90 day rule cannot be changed or altered by an employee policy or handbook.  If you fail to give notice to your employer within 90 of the accident, you could lose your right to recover any workers compensation benefits.

We find that many individuals who are injured on the job are hopeful the injury will simply go away in a few days and never report it for that reason.  Often these hard working individuals are more concerned with getting the job done than taking care of themselves. Sometimes the injured employee is even bullied into thinking if they report it they will be hurting the company or jeopardizing their job.  Often they will work until the job is completed that day in the hopes that taking a couple days off or easing off the amount of work they’re doing for the next week will somehow allow an orthopedic type injury to heal. Unfortunately, the injured workers intent is actually focused on helping the employer however the delay will likely provide ammunition for the insurance company to deny your case. Don’t let that happen to you. Know the law and know the attorneys who know the law. For free consultation please contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC at 803-350-9230.  Let us help you get the benefits you deserve under the law.


A truck collision is worth contacting an attorney

It is important to contact an attorney following a trucking collision.  The insurance claims adjuster that may contact you is not looking out for your best interest.  The insurance claims adjuster is helping to make sure the trucking company and its insurance carrier compensations you the least as possible, or not at all.  You need the help of an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side.

Trucking collisions occur on our roadways in South Carolina almost everyday.  The facts related to trucking accidents are alarming.

The highest number of crashes involving 18-wheelers or large commercial truck occur on long haul trips.  Approximately 65% of all fatalities from trucking accident occur on long-haul trips.  Statistics show that 1 in 4 truckers admit to falling asleep while driving during the previous month.  This is because trucker consistently get less than 5 hours of sleep per night.  This sleep is often in a the cab of the truck, and truckers use high does of caffeine, and sometimes drugs, to attempt to stay alert behind the wheel.  You may not realize it, but the lack of sleep impacts alertness and performance similar to being under the influence of alcohol.  Truckers are required to meet strict load and delivery schedules, and their compensation is largely based on logging as many hours behind the wheel as possible.  While there are mandatory Hours of Service rules set forth by Federal Regulations, these rules are often ignored by drivers of 18-wheeler.

Severe injuries or death is more likely to occur in a trucking collusion due to the sheer size of 18-wheelers – which can be as long as 53 feet and weigh up to 80,000 pounds.  Large trucks only account for 4 percent of all registered vehicles, yet they account for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes. Or, that when large trucks collide with other vehicles, it is the occupants of those vehicles – not the truck drivers – who are killed or injured 73 percent of the time.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision that involved an 18-wheeler or a large truck, you need to call the Goings Law Firm, LLC at (803) 350-9230.  We provide aggressive and compassionate representation to injured victims and their families.  It will not cost you anything to see if we can help.  We offer free consultations to protect the rights of injured victims of trucking accidents.


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