Lexington, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation insurance is designed to pay workers for injuries without having them go through the process of proving fault in court. This can often lead to quicker payment for medical bills and replacement wages, but these systems are not without their drawbacks.
In some cases, you may even be entitled to file a lawsuit against a party other than your employer. When this happens, the limitations of the Workers’ Compensation system could be confusing, or they could even become a hindrance to getting you the compensation you need.
For help with your injury case, call the Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 451-4000.
How to Get Compensation for a Workplace Injury in Lexington, SC
Getting compensation for a work injury often means filing a claim through either your company’s Workers’ Compensation or through the courts. However, Workers’ Compensation laws limit your right to sue and instead use Workers’ Compensation as the sole remedy for workers to get payments for injuries. There are always exceptions to these rules, but understanding how and when they apply is important.
Limits on Lawsuits for Workers’ Compensation
South Carolina law prevents workers from suing their employers in most injury cases. In many injury cases, a lawsuit against your employer would not work anyway because the employer might not have done anything wrong to cause the injury. Many workplace accidents are caused by the worker’s own negligence, and no injury lawsuit can be filed for these claims. In this way, Workers’ Compensation closes a big gap in liability and allows you to get compensation even if a lawsuit would not be available.
Nonetheless, the drawback is that lawsuits in cases where your employer is actually at fault are also blocked. However, you could still be entitled to substantial compensation through a Workers’ Compensation claim, and various exceptions might allow a lawsuit, potentially against another party.
Lawsuits Against Third Parties
Although South Carolina law blocks you from suing your own employer, it does not block you from suing other parties for workplace injuries. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you research your case and understand what alternative parties might be at fault. This often allows lawsuits against manufacturers of dangerous or defective equipment. It can also help you file claims against vendors, customers, drivers, or other parties who might have caused your accident at work.
Lawsuits By Contractors and Certain Workers
If you are properly classified as an independent contractor, then you might not be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance in the first place. That means you are not entitled to payment under that insurance policy, but you are also not beholden to the limitations against suing your employer.
Technically speaking, your boss would be your “client” instead of an “employer,” and there is no employer-employee relationship to speak of. This means that the Workers’ Compensation restrictions do not apply, and you can sue the parties that hired you if they, in fact, caused your accident.
There might be other exceptions where Workers’ Compensation does not cover the accident.
For one, certain workers, such as farmworkers, might not be covered under Workers’ Compensation policies. In these cases, a lawsuit against the at-fault party might be available. Another reason you might not be covered is that your employer does not have the required Workers’ Compensation insurance. That should also allow a lawsuit against your employer directly if you can prove they were at fault for your accident.
Additionally, intentional injuries generally are not covered by insurance. If you intentionally caused your own injuries, there might be no grounds for a Workers’ Compensation claim or a lawsuit, and it could constitute fraud to file for Workers’ Compensation. If your employer or a coworker intentionally injured you, call our Workers’ Compensation lawyers right away to discuss how to proceed.
Getting Compensation for Work Injuries in Lexington, SC
When pursuing a claim through Workers’ Compensation, the damages you receive are often limited to compensation for your medical bills and limited coverage for lost wages. If you are entitled to a lawsuit, you could be able to access additional damages that the Workers’ Compensation system will not cover.
Ultimately, knowing how much your specific case is worth is impossible without having your Workers’ Compensation lawyers analyze the specific facts of your case and having them research the resulting damages. In most cases, damages are available for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the way Workers’ Compensation pays damages might limit how much you can get for these benefits – and whether some benefits are even available.
Workers’ Compensation benefits often cover medical bills for work injuries in full. However, convincing your employer that your injuries are work-related and that they do, in fact, require medical treatment might be a hurdle. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can work with medical experts to review your claim for compensation and fight to get all medical expenses covered in full. If your benefits are denied in any way, call us for help.
Employers and their Workers’ Compensation insurance providers often have control over what doctor you can use to cover your care. This is also a complication that might prevent you from feeling fully compensated and is something you might not have to concern yourself with if you are pursuing damages through a lawsuit instead, as the damages would not be paid through Workers’ Compensation.
Workers’ Compensation covers 66 2/3% of lost wages for injury claims. There might be some specific situations where this rate is different or where minimums and caps affect the payment. At the end of the day, this means that some lost wages will not be paid through Workers’ Compensation, though a lawsuit might be able to pay these damages in full.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are not available through Workers’ Compensation claims at all. This means that the only way to get these damages is typically to use one of the exceptions or loopholes discussed above. Generally, these damages will only be paid through a lawsuit, which our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you with.
Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Lexington, SC for a Free Case Review
For a free review of your injury case with the Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers, call (803) 451-4000.