If you are unsatisfied with your workers’ compensation settlement, there are appeal options available to you. Even if you were granted benefits but disagree with parts of the decision involving your benefits, you are protected and have the right to file an appeal with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. It is not required that you obtain legal representation, but retaining an attorney during a workers’ compensation appeal can give you a greater chance at winning your appeal and being granted a higher settlement.
Steps to Appealing a Decision
If you wish to file an appeal, you must first submit a hearing request to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. To file this appeal, you must pay a $25 fee. The appeal will then be heard by a commissioner. Upon submitting the request, the Commission will set a date for the hearing. All hearings are held in the county where the work-related injury occurred. Sometimes, the Commission will require you to see a doctor for a thorough examination and will be called to testify at the hearing in regards to your medical condition.
Once the hearing has ended, the Commissioner will come to a decision. If you do not think the decision was fair, you are allowed to appeal it again. Upon entering the second level of appeals, your appeal will go before a panel of three Commissioners. You must submit a request for commission review within 14 days after the Commissioner’s decision. A fee of $150 is required upon filing. If you are unable to pay the fee, submit a Request to Waive Appeal Filing Fee form. Here you will provide information about you and your spouse’s employment, total household income and info about your dependents.
However, if the Commission finds your case to have no grounds at all for appeal, they may charge you an additional fee of $250. This will happen if the commission finds that you had no logical basis to file an appeal. This is often a rare occasion, but happens if the appellate was found to injure themselves at home rather than at work or was lying about the severity of their injury. Despite this, most appeals at this stage indeed have merit and the potential for additional fees is slim.
If you are still not satisfied after the second level of appeals, you may file a lawsuit with the South Carolina Court of Appeals within 30 days from the date of award or from the date of “receipt of notice” from the Commission. Upon filing this case, you must state the reason for appeal and explain why you think the decision is false. It is highly recommended you consult with an attorney at this phase if you have not already.
The final stage of appealing this decision is the South Carolina Supreme Court. Although you have the right to appeal to the highest court in the state, they are not required to hear all appeals that are filed and chooses appeals at their discretion.
Let Our Attorneys Help You
Filing a workers’ compensation appeal can be a confusing and potentially expensive decision. It is recommended that you contact an attorney if you plan on appealing a workers’ compensation benefits decision. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether strict liability is applicable to your case, and can advise you on how to proceed with your claim. The personal injury attorneys at the Solomon Law Group can help you develop a personal injury case and can help you seek the recovery that you deserve. Contact us today at 803-219-8870.