Rapid City Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Fighting for Employee Rights in Pennington County
Most employers are legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. In the event an injury occurs while on the job, this insurance covers the treatment, medical expenses, and lost wages due to an injury sustained on the job. Any injury arising in the course and scope of employment can be a compensable workplace injury. Injuries to workers can happen in an office, parking lot, or construction site. At Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP, our experience and knowledge can help victims who have been injured in a work-related accident.
Accidental death and dismemberment and workplace accidents are complicated issues. Many factors are involved in prosecuting work-related injuries. Therefore, it is crucial for victims to obtain experienced legal representation to ensure they receive the damages which they are entitled.
Individuals incurring workplace injuries are entitled to compensation for:
- Medical and health care bills
- Disability payments as partial replacement for lost wages
Hurt on the job? Dial (605) 519-6136 or complete an online form today to discuss your potential case.
On This Page:
- What Benefits Can I Receive?
- Common Workplace Injuries
- Understanding the Claims Process
- Accidents Covered By Workers' Compensation
- Is It Worth Getting a Workers' Comp Attorney?
Workers' Compensation Benefits in South Dakota
South Dakota workers' compensation law provides several kinds of benefits to injured workers:
- Medical care: All reasonable and necessary medical treatments are covered under workers' compensation, though employers and insurers have the ability to contest the reasonableness or necessity of any medical treatment.
- Temporary total disability: Once an injured employee misses seven consecutive days of work, they are then eligible to receive a weekly benefit equal to 66.67% of their earnings, subject to state maximum and minimum amounts set by statute and administrative rules.
- Temporary partial disability: Injured workers who are able to return to work but at reduced hours may be able to receive additional temporary partial disability benefits based on the difference in pre-injury and post-injury wages.
- Permanent partial disability: Additional benefits are afforded to individuals who suffer permanent impairment of certain body parts, based on the percentage of impairment determined by a doctor.
- Permanent total disability: If a worker is permanently and totally disabled, he or she is entitled to weekly benefits for life.
- Death benefits: If a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, South Dakota law offers compensation to the deceased worker's spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or other heirs. This includes compensation for burial expenses,
- Rehab/retraining: Injured employees may be eligible for rehabilitation or retraining benefits if they meet certain criteria established by the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation.
Types of Workplace Injuries
Workers’ compensation law is very specific about how and when an injured worker can be compensated. Therefore, it’s vital for victims to obtain the services of an experienced Rapid City workers' compensation attorney specializing in workers’ compensation cases.
Workplace injuries may include:
- Lost limbs
- Head and neck injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Back or shoulder injuries
- Brain injuries
- RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
- Chronic pain
- Permanent impairment
The Process of Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim
Most injured employees don’t know the law, but a typical employee and insurance companies are very much aware of how the compensation system works. In some cases, if a person is unable to return to a job that pays them their 2/3 weekly benefit, they may be entitled to total disability benefits, which means the weekly benefit for the balance of their life. In South Dakota, an injured employee has the right to select the first doctor he sees to treat an injury.
If you experience an accident at the workplace, you should:
- Inform your employer in writing of the time, date, and nature of the injury
- Check your employment contract or written statement for information regarding sick or accident pay
- Seek medical attention
- Refrain from signing any document or making any statements until you consult your work injury attorney
- Make immediate notes about the accident
- Photograph the accident scene if you have a camera or cell phone available
- Keep a log of your symptoms
- Call your workers' compensation lawyer in Rapid City
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers' Compensation
The most important qualifier for coverage under workers' compensation is that the injury or illness must be related to employment, or in legal terms, "AOE/COE" (arising out of employment and occurring during the course of employment). Most injuries that occur on the job are covered under workers' compensation, including accidents and illnesses caused by exposure to work-related activities, equipment, and materials.
Workers' compensation generally does not cover:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries caused by alcohol or drug intoxication
- Injuries caused by horseplay
- Injuries that occur while commuting
- Injuries suffered while committing a crime
- Stress or other psychiatric afflictions
Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP, specializes in workers’ compensation law, and we have represented many clients in accidental death and dismemberment cases. We can evaluate workplace injury claims to ensure victims are receiving proper care for their sustained injuries and are fairly compensated for past and future medical expenses and lost income.
Is It Worth Getting a Workers' Comp Attorney?
While some workers' compensation claims may be straight forward and may be approved the first go-around, this isn't the case for the majority of workers' comp applicants. In fact, many claims are denied right off the bat because of simple errors like missed deadlines, failure to provide sufficient evidence linking your injuries to your job, or even failing to provide all of the necessary information. By hiring a professional workers' compensation lawyer you can save yourself a great deal of stress by ensuring that you file the right paperwork at the right time, and that your best interests are represented throughout the entire claims process.
Even if your claim was recently denied, that doesn't mean it's too late. You can still hire a lawyer and appeal the decision for another chance at obtaining the compensation you need for your work injury.
Contact Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP today at (605) 519-6136 for a consultation with our workers' compensation attorneys in Rapid City.
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