Dealing with a work injury or illness is hard. Waiting for the workers’ compensation settlement adds to the frustration of your situation. You and your household need that settlement money to cover your necessities and stabilize your financial future.
Whether applying for workers’ compensation or waiting for a settlement, it is best to partner with a Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer. The team at Smith Jordan Law can give you sound legal advice, take care of the application process, and answer questions about when you can expect your settlement.
South Carolina worker’s compensation law
In South Carolina, almost all employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover injured employees or those who develop a work-related illness. If you are hurt or suffer from an occupational disease and cannot work for an extended period, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover your medical expenses and two-thirds of your lost income for several weeks. The benefits stop once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and are medically cleared to return to work.
However, some victims of job injuries or illnesses are left permanently disabled and cannot return to their previous job–or perhaps any job. Injured parties can seek a workers’ compensation settlement when this happens. For the best outcome, put your case in the capable, trustworthy hands of a Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer.
When to expect workers’ compensation settlements
Suppose your injuries prevent you from working for more than seven days. In that case, you are entitled to collect compensation starting on the “eighth calendar day following your inability to work,” according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).
If you are permanently disabled and seeking a settlement, you can expect the process to take longer. Every case differs, so offering a “set” timeframe is impossible. However, partnering with a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney gives your case the best possibility for moving forward efficiently.
The workers’ compensation settlement process
It is natural to wonder, “How long after a workers comp settlement do I get paid?” To get your settlement, you have to first take your case through the process, which typically follows these steps:
1. Reach maximum medical improvement
The time it takes to reach MMI depends on your injury. Your medical team will help make this determination. Once your condition can no longer improve with treatment, you have reached MMI. You will know what your permanent impairments are, and you will know how your injury permanently affects your ability to work.
2. Decide what type of settlement to pursue and how much you will demand in the settlement
Consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if you should seek a settlement allowing for continued medical coverage.
3. Send a demand letter to the insurance company
Wait for the response. Your attorney can handle all communication and follow-up.
4. Negotiate with the insurance company until both sides agree on an amount
If negotiations are unproductive, parties may have an informal conference with the SCWCC. If the conference fails, you can request a SCWCC hearing.
5. Reach a settlement
This can be achieved through negotiations or as determined by a SCWCC commissioner.
6. Collect payment
This will be done according to the schedule determined in the agreement.
Factors affecting when you get paid
When you collect largely depends on how long it takes to reach MMI and then on the difficulty of the negotiation process. Insurance companies do not like to make payments and often try to draw negotiations out, hoping you will “cave” and accept a lower offer. They know you are desperate to get your settlement and pay bills that have been piling up.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Smith Jordan Law are strong negotiators and will work hard to move the process along and prevent insurance companies from dragging their feet. Once a settlement amount is negotiated or agreed upon through an informal SCWCC conference, you may receive the payment in about one to two months.
If negotiations fail and you request an SCWCC hearing, your hearing will occur within 60 days of the request.
Smith Jordan Law is dedicated, experienced, and ready to help
You need compensation when a job-related injury or illness stops you from working and earning. Under South Carolina law, you have the right to that compensation. Smith Jordan Law is here to help you get the settlement you deserve to help get your finances and future back on stable ground.
Call (864) 343-2222 or send a message to connect with a dedicated, experienced Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer who will handle all aspects of your case with compassion and skill.