Over 5,000 Americans die due to work-related injuries each year. In non-fatal cases, there are about 2.8 instances for every 100 workers.
If you recently sustained work-related injuries, make sure you understand the SC workers’ comp laws. Your workers’ compensation insurance should cover lost wages and medical bills.
What happens after you file a workers’ compensation claim? How can a workers’ comp lawyer help? What benefits will you receive under the SC workers’ comp laws?
Keep reading to find out! In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about your claim.
SC Workers’ Comp Laws
About 27% of over 900,000 nonfatal work injuries resulting in missed workdays were related to trips, slips, and falls. About 235,740 injuries due to equipment resulted in time away from work. Meanwhile, over 1,200 employees died in work-related crashes.
These work-related injuries could all result in a workers’ compensation claim.
Under SC workers’ comp laws, any employee who suffers work-related injuries is entitled to:
- Temporary total compensation of lost time
- Medical expenses coverage
- Permanent disability benefits
Your lawyer has the right to choose which doctor will treat you. If you go to a doctor without permission from your employer, your employer isn’t liable for the expense. If you have a disability your employer won’t cover, you can choose which physician will evaluate you.
Under SC workers’ comp laws, you’re obligated to report to your supervisor immediately after you’re injured. Ask your employer to take responsibility for your medical treatment. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, hire a workers’ comp attorney right away.
Your lawyer can file a Form 50 with the Workers’ Compensation Commission on your behalf. The form will specify:
- The parties involved
- The date the accident occurred
- A description of the accident
- Who you reported to
- Your work-related injuries
- Whether medical attention is needed
- Any disfigurements or disabilities you developed
- Any other relief you’re requesting
Unless your employer is self-insured, they’ll get representation for an insurance company known as a carrier. Their carrier will file a Form 51. This form either agrees with or denies what you claimed in your Form 50.
An individual Commissioner will act as a fact-finder for your case. Then, they’ll schedule a hearing within three to five months.
How much does workers’ comp pay? It depends on your case.
For total disability, you’ll receive 60% of your pre-injury average weekly wage (AWW).
Usually, the amount is capped to $1,000 per week.
For partial disability benefits, the total is calculated a little differently. With partial disability, you’re still able to work, even if it’s part-time.
For partial disability benefits, your AWW is reduced by earning capacity or current earnings.
Speak with a Worker’s Comp attorney to determine how much worker’s comp pay you’ll receive.
What does workers’ comp cover, exactly? Here are a few workers’ comp benefits you can receive after an accident on the job.
Your employer or the insurance company will pay for the medical care that’s related to your work-related injuries. If you have an unrelated medical condition, you won’t receive coverage for that treatment.
What does Workers’ Comp cover?
Your medical care coverage might include:
- Physical therapy
- Doctor’s visits
- Other necessary treatments
Make sure you go to the doctor your employer selected. Otherwise, you might not receive coverage.
Compensation for Lost Wages
Do your work-related injuries make it difficult for you to work? Your employer will consider you temporarily totally disabled. In these instances, you’ll receive the wages you would have earned if you continued to work.
You’ll receive payment of lost wages for at least seven days.
If you’re still unable to work for at least 14 days, you’ll receive your lost wages back to the date you were unable to work.
You’ll continue to receive temporary total disability benefits until your doctor says you’re able to return to work.
Compensation for Permanent Disabilities
What if your work-related injuries caused a permanent disability? In these cases, you’ll receive additional compensation. This coverage is called permanent partial disability payments.
You’ll receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The weekly amount then gets multiplied by a specified number of weeks.
Did you lose your vision in both eyes? What about both of your hands, feet, legs, or arms? In these instances, you have a permanent total disability.
You’ll receive additional payments in these cases. If you’re brain-damaged, a paraplegic, or quadriplegic, you’ll receive benefits for life.
Did you lose a loved one as a result of a work-related accident? Workers’ Comp benefits apply to surviving dependents for 500 weeks in these instances. You’ll receive the same for total disability along with $12,000 for burial expenses.
If you were injured on the job and can’t return to your previous line of work, talk to your Workers’ Comp attorney. They’ll help you fight for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation requires the Workers’ Comp insurer to pay for you to train for a new job.
What It Doesn’t Cover
SC Workers’ Comp laws won’t cover additional benefits if you experienced pain and suffering. Your worker’s compensation insurance relates only to income protection laws. If you were injured, you’ll receive benefits based on your inability to work.
If the pain you experienced prevents you from returning to work, you’ll receive weekly compensation.
However, you won’t receive the pain and suffering benefits you would receive from a personal injury lawsuit.
Under SC Worker’s Comp laws, you’re not eligible for benefits if you’re a(n):
- Corporate officer
- Agricultural worker
- Realtor (in some instances)
- Federal employee working in South Carolina
- Employee for the railway express
- Employee at a business with less than four employees
- Temporary employee
If you fall under one of these exceptions, talk to your Worker’s Comp lawyer right away.
SC Workers’ Comp Laws: Your Guide to Receiving the Benefits You Deserve
Under SC Worker’s Comp laws, you can receive workers’ comp benefits after sustaining work-related injuries. Don’t pay out of pocket. Instead, make sure you have a worker’s comp lawyer at your side.
They’ll make sure your best interests are covered. They’ll also give you individualized advice to help maximize your claim.
Need help with your case? That’s why we’re here.
At Burriss and Ridgeway, we have years of experience with SC Workers’ Comp laws. We know how to negotiate the best settlement for you and we know when we need to take a case to court to fight for your rights for compensation.
We cover the entire state of South Carolina with offices in Lexington, Orangeburg, and Columbia, SC.