Atkins Law Firm | 1931 Bull Street, Suite C, Columbia, SC 29201

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you been injured on the job?

Be represented by the Former Chairman of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission. Who you hire matters.

Holly Saleeby Atkins practiced workers’ compensation defense for ten years, representing insurance companies and employers in workers’ compensation matters. Please contact us at 803-251-6406 for more information.

What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses.

Who pays workers' compensation benefits?

In South Carolina, employers are required to purchase insurance for their employees from a workers’ compensation insurance company. If a company has less than 4 full time employees, they are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance nor are they subject to the workers’ compensation laws. Larger companies who are financially stable are allowed to act as their own workers’ compensation insurance company which is called being “self-insured.”

Does workers' compensation cover only specific injuries or does it also cover long-term problems and illnesses?

Specific traumatic injuries are covered as well as repetitive injuries although repetitive injuries are more difficult to prove. A lot of workers receive benefits for injuries that are caused by overuse or misuse over a long period of time (repetitive injuries). These injuries include carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, etc.

How long do I have to file a workers' compensation claim?

Most employers require an employee to report a claim within 24 hours. However, you have 90 days under the law to report your claim. If you have a repetitive injury, you have 90 days from the date of last injurious exposure or diagnosis from a doctor.

How do I file a claim?

You need to report your injury to your employer and ask them to complete an incident report or first report of injury. They are then required to file a claim with the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission. If they do not file a claim or refuse too, then you should call the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission or hire an attorney.

Can I be treated by my own doctor?

No. You have to be treated by the doctor chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The law gives the employer and insurance carrier the right to control medical care.

However, some doctors are more compassionate than others. To benefit my clients, I try to work with the adjuster to have the best doctor chosen.

Can I sue my employer for an injury sustained on the job?

No. Workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy and you are barred from suing your employer. However, if you are injured by the negligence of a third party, like the manufacturer of a faulty piece of equipment, you are allowed to sue the manufacturer of that equipment. However, the workers’ compensation carrier would have a lien on the recovery from that third party.

Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?

South Carolina is an at-will employment state. You can be fired for any reason or no reason at all.

Is the employer/insurance carrier required to provide medical treatment?

The employer/insurance carrier has a right to “deny” your claim which denies you medical treatment. However, you have a right to fight their denial!

If I hire an attorney, how does the attorney get paid?

The attorney is paid only if they obtain a settlement or an award for you at the end of your claim. Once you are found to be at maximum medical improvement by the treating physician, your claim is ready to be concluded. Once a settlement amount is agreed upon or an award is issued by the Commission, the attorney is paid 1/3 of the funds obtained, plus any expenses paid on your behalf.