864-235-8163 | Serving Upstate South Carolina
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1617 E. North St., Greenville, SC 29607
If your injury is covered, the employer or its insurance company must pay 100% of medical expenses, which directly resulted from your accident, including prescription drugs and mileage reimbursement for trips to company doctors, which exceed 10 miles. Unfortunately, the employer has the right to choose the doctors. The doctors must be authorized by the employer or the insurance company for it to be clear that the employer is liable for those bills. The main benefits that injured workers get are: (1) 100% payment of medical expenses due to the injury; (2) weekly benefits of 2/3's of the employee's average weekly salary when the employee is written out of work by the company doctor for more than 7 days; and (3) the injured worker may be entitled to money benefits if he or she has permanent impairment or permanent disability, or has a permanent partial or total loss of earning capacity.
Workers who were injured on the job and experienced personal injury while performing services for their employer at a time and place designated by the employer, are covered by workers' compensation. South Carolina Workers' Compensation Law provides medical care and financial benefits to workers who were injured on the job even if the accident was caused by the negligence or fault of the injured employee. If you work as a railroad employee, a Federal employee, or an agriculture employee, you are probably not covered by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, but would be covered by a different system.
Otherwise, generally, employers who employ 4 or more employees in the state of South Carolina must provide workers' compensation coverage for injured employees.
Injuries caused by the normal wear and tear of the body and injuries that are not caused by an accident or by repetitive trauma from the workplace are not covered by workers' compensation. If documented by medical doctors, some occupational diseases (such as byssinosis, asbestosis, and chemical exposure) may be covered. Injuries caused by repetitive trauma may be covered by workers'
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compensation benefits if the medical doctors state that it is most probable that the employee suffered repetitive trauma injury, which occurred gradually over time and is caused by the cumulative effects of performing repetitive work. It must be shown by medical evidence that repetitive trauma directly caused an injury to the employee's body. For example, someone working on an assembly line or conveyor belt, lifting, gripping, squeezing, or turning hundreds or thousands of parts per shift, may develop injuries to the hands, arms, spine, or shoulders, such as carpal tunnel. These may be covered by workers' compensation.
If an employee is on his or her way to or from work, they are generally not covered under workers' compensation unless the employer is providing transportation or the employee is running an errand for the employer while on the way to work. An injury that occurs at the employer's place of business during working hours is usually considered to be covered. Falls at work, especially falling from high places, are generally covered. Also generally covered are injuries caused by lifting, exposure to harmful chemicals in the workplace, and repetitive trauma injuries caused by the job.
If the employer or insurance carrier proves that the employee's injury was caused by the employee's intoxication from drugs or alcohol, or the employee intended to injure himself or herself, they may try to deny the case. The employer may also try to deny the case by saying that the employee already suffered from the problem before the "alleged" injury. However, if an on the job accident aggravates a pre-existing condition (such as pre-existing arthritis, or pre-existing degenerative joint diseases), the injury is still covered as an aggravation of a pre-existing condition.
If injured on the job, you should immediately report the injury to your supervisor or medical provider at work. You must report the injury as soon as possible. The injury must be reported not later than 90 days after you knew that you were injured on the job (for example, sometimes breathing substances at work, or repetitive trauma injuries are not apparent at the beginning).
To receive benefits, a claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of the injury.
Most workers' compensation cases that we handle are handled on a one-third contingency fee. That means that we will attempt to get you the most benefits that you are entitled to and we will be paid by the results. This means that the injured employee does not have to come out of pocket and pay a lawyer at a time when he or she is already hurting and receiving less than full salary.
Yes. The medical treatment of on the job burns and scarring are covered by workers' compensation and the employee may be entitled to monetary benefits for scars that are normally exposed to the job, keloid scars, or skin loss.
No. Waiting to hire an attorney until long after the accident is no more reasonable than waiting until the 2-minute warning to hire the basketball coach. Rest assured that the insurance company has trained adjusters and attorneys, who are on retainer, giving the insurance company and employer advice on how to defend your case and which doctors and "rehab" nurses they should select. You should not wait until you are in quicksand before you ask for a roadmap.
No. Unfortunately, under the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, injured employees do not receive any compensation for pain and suffering. Even in severe and life-changing burn cases, our law protects the insurance company by providing no benefits for pain and suffering. Only if there is a third-party claim that arises out of the on the job accident will there be compensation for pain and suffering. For example, if you are injured due to a defective machine and can bring a third-party case against the manufacturer, or if you are injured in an on the job motor vehicle accident and can proceed against the at-fault driver, would you be entitled to pain and suffering, and that would not come from workers' compensation but from the at-fault third party.
No. Unfortunately, your right to a jury trial is also eliminated by South Carolina's Workers' Compensation statute. Rather than having a judge and jury to act as an independent party to decide the outcome of your case, South Carolina provides that the governor appoints the seven commissioners who act as both judge and jury in workers' compensation cases.
Workers' compensation pays workers a weekly check while they are under the doctor's care and are temporarily unable to work. The amount of the check is 2/3's of the worker's average weekly salary, which is usually about the same amount of money as the injured worker's take-home pay before the accident. There are limits on the maximum amount that the insurance company must pay each week.
In a perfect world, that would be the case. However, in a perfect world, you would not be injured in the first place. Insurance companies exist to make a profit. Paying benefits to you may not be in the insurance company's best interest. Many injured employees are simply too good for their own good and too gullible for their own good. By the time they get legal advice, it may be too late to protect their rights.