What is Workers' Compensation?
The South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act is a law enacted to protect and compensate workers who suffer from a work related injury. In South Carolina, the law allows workers to seek monetary awards for an injury or occupational disease that arises out of and in the course of employment.
WORKERS COMPENSATION IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN A NORMAL INJURY CASE INVOLVING LIABILITY OF ANOTHER PERSON.
One of our partners began his career defending workers compensation cases for employers and you can benefit from that experience of knowing how the other side works.
We have secured lump sum settlements where the employer's doctor gave low impairment, so do not wait until your employer has sent you to their doctor, if you have legal questions.
Experience matters because every case is different.
What types of Accidents are covered?
To be eligible to workers' compensation benefits, you must have been injured within the scope and course of your employment. All injuries do not require an "accident". Some are caused by repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. If the work you do causes pain that you believe needs medical attention, we might be able to help. Generally, most injuries suffered by an employee during working hours at the employer's place of business qualifies. It is best to contact an experienced attorney if you are not sure if your accident is work related.
What do you do if you have a work-related injury?
If you are injured on the job, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately. The workers' compensation laws require that you report your injury quickly to your employer, beginning from the date of the injury. When reporting the injury, you should note the time, place of injury, how you were injured, the injuries received, and names of all witnesses. You should also keep a copy of this information. To receive benefits your claim must be filed with the S.C. Worker's Compensation Commission.
Is my employer solely responsible?
In some cases, a third party may also be responsible for damages. For instance, if you are injured by a defective piece of equipment or if you are in a car accident while working for your employer, there may be a case against the manufacturer of the equipment or against the other driver.
How do I pay an attorney?
Before a lawyer can charge a fee on a workers' compensation case, the fee must be approved by the S.C. Workers Compensation Commission. The Commissions rules require that no lawyer's fee exceed one-third of the amount recovered.
Is your company pushing you to use Short Term Disability instead of Workers Compensation?
The company you work for could try to convince you that you do not need a lawyer; ask yourself, who is the company really looking out for?
Remember that your employer will have an attorney protecting their best interest.
What about my benefits?
Benefits are provided to you through the insurance carrier for your employer. You may be entitled to the following benefits:
You should be paid for the time your doctor has you out of work. However, you are not entitled to compensation until you have been out of work at least 8 days.
Your medical bills should be paid by your employer or your employer's insurance carrier.
You should be reimbursed for mileage to and from your doctor's appointments. You must travel at least 5 miles each way in order to be reimbursed for mileage.
Your prescription medications and approved medical supplies should be paid for by the insurance carrier.
Under the law, you may be entitled to additional compensation if you are permanently injured, even if you can still work.
How do I know if I have a workers' compensation claim?
There are several things we must know to determine if you have a workers' compensation case:
You must have been hurt on the job.
The injury must have occurred while working within the scope and course of your employment.
Your employer has four or more active employees.
Have you or your employer scheduled a medical examination.
We will work with you and the insurance company, or your employer's attorney to arrange an appointment with a doctor or specialist to evaluate your health and work-related conditions. Exposure to dust, fumes, asbestos, chemicals, etc. may cause conditions that you are not even aware exists. An examination can help protect your health and your legal rights.