Tips for Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you are considering hiring a lawyer to represent you for an injury that occurred in the course and scope of your job, you will need to determine who is the best workers’ compensation lawyer for you.  Hiring the best attorney is important.  We caution people from choosing a lawyer based on silly advertisements, paid actors on commercials,  or representations that appear too good to be true.  You will not find any gimmicks with our firm!  When injuries on the job, you need a serious lawyer that devotes time meeting with clients and representing them in court. Experience matters in hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina.  Here are some tips on hiring a workers’ compensation attorney based on frequently asked questions:

1.  Should I hire a workers’ compensation attorney?

If you have been injured on the job, the first questions to ask yourself is “Do I need to hire an attorney?”  An attorney is not required for all workers’ compensation claims.  In fact, many job injuries do not require the need for an attorney if injury is not severe or your work is not limited.  However, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney if you fall within any of these categories:

  1. The workers’ compensation carrier has delayed or been been slow in providing medical care.
  2. The worker’s compensation carrier has denied your claim.
  3. If your injury requires surgery.
  4. If your injury requires you to be out of work for over 14 days.
  5. If your injury requires hospitalization.
  6. If you have not received a workers’ compensation check for being out of work.

If any of these situations apply to you, then we strongly recommend contacting our office today to see if we can represent you in your workers’ compensation claim.

2.  Will the Insurance Company hire an attorney?

Yes, the insurance company will have a team of attorneys to represent the interests of the insurance company and the employer regardless of you hiring an attorney.   If the insurance company and the employer always has attorneys representing them, shouldn’t you have an attorney to represent you?  It’s can be dangerous to represent yourself in a workers’ compensation claim.  Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you if your injury falls within any of the categories above.

3.  Who should I hire to represent me in my workers’ compensation claim?

It is important to hire the best attorney to represent injured workers in workers’ compensation claims. We believe the best representation that you can receive is to hire an attorney who only practices in the field of workers’ compensation.  Not every attorney in South Carolina handles workers’ compensation claims.  The workers’ compensation system is unique in South Carolina.  The South Carolina worker’s compensation laws consist of thousands of pages of statutory laws and regulations, and case law from the South Carolina Court of Appeals and South Carolina Supreme Court.   It is important to hire an attorney with a sole and singular focus in representing injury workers before the Workers’ Compensation Commission.  The workers’ compensation team at the Goings Law Firm has the sole mission of only representing injured workers.

4.  Look at Testimonials or Reviews when Hiring your Attorney.

We believe that online testimonials and reviews  are a great place to start when choosing a lawyers for your workers’ compensation claim.  Testimonials and reviews allow you to hear from past clients who have dealt with the law office to determine if you are the right fit for that firm.  We would recommend that you look at sites, like Facebook, Google, Avvo, Super Lawyers, Expertise, and Lawyers.com.  You will find that the Goings Law Firm has received great reviewed from former clients!

5.  Why Hire the Goings Law Firm as your Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

When you hire the Goings Law Firm, you are getting a team of dedicated workers’ compensation professionals to represent you.  We believe experience matters.  The more experience your attorney has, the more likely they have seen similar cases in the past and know the best ways to prove your claim.  Robert Goings founded the workers’ compensation practice.  Year after year, Robert Goings receives honors for his commitment to fighting for the right of the injury.  In 2019, Robert was recognized as Legal Elite under Personal Injury Law for the Columbia/Midlands Business Monthly publication.  He received the most votes for Personal Injury Law and was nominated by his peers in Columbia as the Top Personal Injury Lawyer in the Midlands.

The workers’ compensation team is lead by Christian Boesl.  Christian has devoted his career to workers’ compensation in South Carolina.  He is listed as a Super Lawyer and in the Best Lawyers in America in the field of Workers’ Compensation.  Before joining the Goings Law Firm, Christian lead the workers’ compensation team at one of the state’s most respected insurance workers’ compensation defense firms for nearly 15 years.  In defending workers’ compensation claims, he knows how the “other side” works in order to best represent you before the Workers’ Compensation Commission.   His experience in defending workers’ compensation claims has proven invaluable in helping injured workers get the benefits and compensation that they deserve under the law.  Many clients and opposing counsel refer to Christian’s efforts as “relentless”, “hard-charging”, and “aggressively confident.”   We believe Christian is the go-to attorney for Workers’ Compensation based on his proven results both in and outside of the courtroom.  Additionally, the paralegals that work at the Goings Law Firm on the workers’ compensation team only focus on workers’ compensation claims.  These paralegals have a combined more than 20 years experience for on the job injuries to ensure that your case is properly handled and that your questions are timely answered.  Just check out the reviews online about our workers’ compensation practice.

6.  How much does the Goings Law Firm charge to represent me?

For on the job injuries and workers’ compensation claims, the Goings Law Firm only represents clients on a no-obligation contingency fee basis.  This means that we only get paid if you receive compensation.  If you lose, then you owe nothing to our office.  Our fee is a percentage of the recovery based on the amount permitted by the statutory laws and regulations for workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina.  Our fees are fair, and reasonable, and are always approved by the Workers’ Compensation commission.  Due to the complex nature of workers’ compensation laws, we believe that clients have a better chance in getting a better resolution with the aid of an experienced lawyer instead of representing yourself in court.  There is a lot of value in hiring a firm like the Goings Law Firm.

7.  How do I get in touch with the Goings Law Firm for my on the job injury?

Contacting the Goings Law Firm is easy!  Simply call or text us today to see if we can help you get the benefits and compensation that you deserve for your on the job injury.


Why do you need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQOQXF784pQ

If you are wondering if you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney, listen to this short video.  Christian Boesl explains when you should hire an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. Here are the tips to know when you need an attorney.  The insurance company will have attorneys defending the case against you, shouldn’t you have legal representation?  Call us today at 803-350-9230 for a free, no obligation, consultation to see if we can help you.

Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Workers’ Compensation


Do you have a Shoulder Injury from a Work Related Accident?

If you have a Shoulder Injury from a on the job injury, listen to this short video to learn how the Goings Law Firm can help you get the benefits that you deserve under the South Carolina Workers Compensation laws.  You need lawyer that you can trust.  Call us today at 803-350-9230 for a free consultation.

 


An Overview of South Carolina Workers Compensation Laws – The Basics

The Workers’ Compensation Act in South Carolina provides that if an employee suffers injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, that individual is entitled to recover medical expenses, temporary total compensation for lost time, and permanent disability benefits if he/she suffered any permanent injury as a result of the work accident. The workers’ compensation laws in South Carolina can be complex, difficult to understand, and hard to navigate without the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Under the current law, your employer and its insurance carrier has the right to select the doctor who will treat you. If you go to see your own doctor without permission of the employer/carrier, then then employer/carrier may not be responsible for paying for the the medical treatment, unless it constitutes an emergency condition. However, you have the right to choose a physician to evaluate you for the specific disability but typically it will not be paid for by the employer.

Once you suffer an injury on the job you should immediately report it to your supervisor. This should be the same day of the accident, if possible. Never, ever delay reporting the injury to your employer. You should also request that the employer provide appropriate medical treatment. In the event that medical treatment is not provided or not paid for, it would be best to consult with an attorney to determine your rights.

If the claim continues to be contested, or denied, your lawyer should file a Form 50 on your behalf with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to request a contested hearing. This sets out the various parties, the date and description of the accident, who you reported it to, the injuries suffered, whether medical treatment is needed, any disfigurement you may have received and any other relief you may be requesting.

The employer, unless self insured, is usually represented by an insurance company known as the carrier. The carrier files an answer on a Form 51, where they may admit or deny what you have said in your Form 50. The case is then placed on the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s docket, and assigned to an individual Commissioner who acts as a fact finder and also rules on the law. A hearing is usually held within three to five months, and at the hearing the employee presents his/her case. You should understand that the employer/carrier will always have an attorney defending the case. If the employer/carrier has an experienced lawyer, shouldn’t you?

Usually medical testimony is presented in the form of a deposition and your physician will not attend a hearing. The other medical evidence that the Commissioner will rely upon are the medical records you and the Carrier present.

Once a commissioner has ruled on the case, the Commissioner will issue an Opinion and Award which sets forth his/her ruling of fact and law, and what relief, if any, the employee gets. If either party is dissatisfied with the decision, the case can be appealed to the full Commission which is made up of all the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners except for the one who heard the case originally. After that hearing is held, if either party is dissatisfied with the decision, it can be appealed to the Circuit Court and on up to the South Carolina Supreme Court, depending on the procedural posture of the claim. You have 14 days from the date of the Order to file an appeal.

Fault or negligence is not an issue regarding the payment of a workers’ compensation claim unless, for example, the employee was intoxicated at the time of the injury. Remember, if you are injured on the job, report the incident to your supervisor.

If you feel like you are not getting medical treatment or not being paid for being out of work, these are tell-tell signs that seeking legal assistance may be necessary. We are happy to discuss your claim with you to see if an attorney would be your best route to protect you. Call us today for an honest and confidential evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim. The number to the Goings Law Firm, LLC is (803) 350-9230.


Workers Comp: What if I can’t return to work?

A common question we get is “What happens if I cannot return to work due to my work injury.”  The fear of not being able to return to work is a real concern if you have been involved in a work related injury.  Often we counsel with people who have given their best years to an employer only to end up with a debilitating injury caused by their work.  Like any hard working individual, they are concerned with their ability to recover and get back to work as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, many individuals suffer injuries so bad that they are no longer able to meet the work requirements of their job.  Sometimes these injured workers are ill informed that their injury is limited to a recovery solely based on the injured body part.  The insurance company, or its attorney, will try to hurriedly rush an injured worker into a settlement that neither represents the fully injured body part or takes into account their inability to return back to work.  Many injured workers will reluctantly accept a quick settlement only to find out they don’t have a job to be able to return to and can’t support their family.

Fortunately, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Laws provide a mechanism where injured workers can receive an award to address their inability to return to their job instead of just the injured body part.  To be eligible for wage loss the worker must be able to demonstrate they meet the necessary elements of a wage loss claim.  If left to handle these complicated issues by themselves, injured workers may end up without the benefit of the law, or worse miss the requirements to be eligible for wage loss recovery.  At the Goings Law Firm we routinely assist injured workers to determine if they may be eligible for a wage loss recovery.   To determine if you need help with a workers’ compensation injury contact Attorney and Workers’ Compensation Managing Partner Christian E. Boesl with the Goings Law Firm.  Let us help you get the medical treatment you deserve to back to work, or get the money you are entitled to receive if you are unable to return to your job.


A First Anniversary Celebration

August is a month to celebrate anniversaries in our office! Earlier this month, our attorney Jessica L. O’Neill Gooding celebrated her two year anniversary with us and now, our attorney Christian E. Boesl celebrates one year of working on our team at Goings Law Firm.

How did Christian end up working at our firm?

“Robert begged me! Robert and I have practiced together previously at another firm, and we enjoy trying cases together,” Christian said.

Christian is the head of our Workers’ Compensation team, which is comprised of him, Mallory, and Catherine. He has a strong workers’ compensation background, with nearly fifteen years of experience. In addition, he holds a Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification, approved Circuit Court Mediator for workers’ compensation.

Outside of work, Christian loves to spend time with his family—his wife, Emily, and their four children—and they help keep him active in our local community.

“Having four children keeps me pretty involved in the community from Booster Club activities to volunteering at food banks,” Christian said. He also spent time volunteering during the days and months after the 1,000 year flood that hit our city and state hard in October 2015.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Christian became a South Carolinian after marrying Emily, a local of Columbia and it quickly became home for him due in part to the close-knit legal community

“My favorite thing about practicing in Columbia would be how cordial the Bar is and how closely connected you are to almost everyone in town,” Christian said. “It’s really almost a hometown feeling.”

Here in our office, we love having Christian as a part of our team.

“When I started my legal career, I worked at a law firm and Christian was my supervisor,” Robert Goings said. “I got to know him as an attorney and he became one of my closest friends. What I love is his honesty, his work ethic, and his passion for helping others. What has always set him apart from other people is his desire to help others. He’s a very strong advocate for his client—he believes in his clients. He never gives up. He has a zealous advocacy for people of need.”

Congratulations on your 1st anniversary, Christian! We hope to celebrate many more work anniversaries with you!


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.


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What Clients are saying

100 stars! Mr. Goings and his staff did an amazing job in handling my case! They were with me every step of the way and made sure my case was handled with my best interest at heart! The process could not have been any easier. I am forever grateful to Mr. Goings and his team. South Carolina’s best attorney!

- Tiffany AL

Robert is the best attorney ever… you need legal representation. .. he is the one to go to.

- Jason D

After representing me after I fell down the stairs at work and injured my back, I would recommend the Goings Law Firm to handle any personal injury matter. Robert and Jessica made me feel like my case mattered to them and that my goals were their goals. They were tireless advocates for me yet they were also willing to be upfront and honest in their assessments of my options going forward. I never felt pressured to choose one course of action over the other. They treated my case like their own.

- Anonymous

Mr. Goings is an outstanding attorney. Dealing with a personal injury case can be frustrating and quite stressful. Mr. Goings and his office took care of my case with the upmost compassion and professionalism. They treated me like family. Mr. Goings is hard-working and determined to fight for his clients’ rights. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a personal injury attorney.

- Anonymous

When I looked for an attorney for my bad car accident, I read the reviews for the Goings Law Firm. This firm had great reviews so I contacted them. Thankfully, Mr. Goings took my case and fully explained the process to me and he took the worry out of my mind. Before hiring him, I tried to settle my case with the insurance company on my own, but I was low balled- Mr. Goings and his office got me a lot more than I ever imagined. A big thanks to his office!

- Anonymous

The Goings Law Firm went above and beyond assisting me after a serious auto accident. Robert Goings and Katie Gould were thorough and kind explaining every step of the process to me, sometimes more than once. Robert was persistent and professional making sure that we received the highest allowable compensation from all parties. I could not have been more pleased with the overall outcome.

- Car Accident Client

It has been a great experience having you represent my family as Our Attorney. I have learned a lot, and have come to understand the importance of good counsel. You and your team are the best. You guys are officially our family Law Firm. Thanks Robert.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for Robert Goings, and his amazingly talented team at Goings Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Goings was always genuinely concerned about my health, and overall well-being, was instrumental in recommending the best medical treatment plan for my injury, and most importantly, he treated me as if I were family. Mr. Goings was extremely attentive to every detail regarding my case, and he executed professional results and recovery, well beyond my greatest expectation.

- Slip and Fall Client

Robert Goings was my lawyer when I was in a terrible car accident caused by a drunk driver. I would not be where I am today without Robert and his staff. He worked very hard for me and was with me from the beginning to the end. He stuck to his word and got me the compensation that I deserved. I really appreciate what Robert and his office has done for me.

- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings worked tirelessly to resolve my husband’s case, despite the fact my husband wasn’t always the best client, and we still ended up with the best possible outcome because, in my opinion, we had the best attorney. Robert Goings is a professional, caring, experienced attorney with an amazing paralegal, Katie, and a wonderful support staff. If you need legal representation, The Goings Law Firm is the only call you need to make.

- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings stood up for my Constitutional Rights. He is a not your typical lawyer and you can trust him like a friend. His staff is very friendly, accommodating, and helpful throughout the entire process.

- Anonymous

Mr. Goings welcomed me in as family, he kept in contact with me about my case all the way to the end.. He works very hard to get justice.. Him and his team is very polite and hard workers.. He deserve more then 5 stars if I had to do it all over again he would be the call.. If anyone is looking for a personal injury lawyer he would be the right person to call don’t hesitate to call.. I thank him and his staff so much for everything they have done for me.

- Personal Injury Client

Hands down one of the BEST attorneys in the state!! Robert Goings exceeded all of my expectations. He welcomed me and my daughter with open arms and he kept me informed every step of the way. I knew exactly what was going on in my case and I really like that about him. His entire staff was awesome and I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a personal injury attorney. I guarantee you, you will be very pleased with Mr. Goings. Honestly, he definitely deserves more than 5 stars!!

- Personal Injury Client

After being rear ended in a car accident, I needed help navigating the insurance settlement. Having never needed the services of an attorney, I was very anxious about the whole process. Robert Goings & his staff were excellent to work with; at no point did I question my decision or feel that we would achieve anything less than the best possible settlement. I would never hesitate to recommend him to family, friends or strangers!

- Car Accident Client

Goings Law Firm was very helpful and patient with me. Goings Law Firm educated me about the legal side of things and help me understand my case. I would recommend Goings Law Firm to anyone.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Mr. Goings was caring and professional during a very difficult time in my life. I was faced with the sudden loss of my mother in a car accident, and Robert took the time to talk to me and check up on me throughout the duration of the case. I applaud his sensitivity and willingness to go the extra mile. I would recommend his firm to anyone that wants the best legal representation in South Carolina!

- Personal Injury Client

Robert and his staff have gone above and beyond, they are absolutely amazing at what they do. I would definitely call his office again if the need should arise.

- Workers’ Comp Client

I highly recommend Robert Goings! He is absolutely incredible!!! I had suffered from a dog bite injury and Robert went above and beyond to have me taken care of. He is extremely personable, I never felt like a “client”. He and his staff treated me as well as my family with genuine kindness. I am blessed to have had him take such great care of me and my case.

- Dog Bite Client

He was very kind and knowledgeable. He gave me status updates in a timely matter. I was VERY pleased.

- Personal Injury Client