South Carolina Workers Compensation Attorney
Understanding Workers' Compensation
If you are injured on the job, you are likely protected under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law. The basic requirement for Workers’ Compensation is for an injury to occur in the workplace. It does not matter if the injury is your fault so long as no horseplay or drugs are involved on your part. Workers’ Compensation differs greatly from traditional negligence (Tort) actions involving automobile accidents. It is possible to have both a Workers’ Compensation case and a tort claim (3rd Party Claim) in the same case.
What if I am Injured at Work?
If you are injured on the job you should notify you employer immediately. An employee has ninety (90) days to report the injury to his/her employer. Claims for Workers’ Compensation cases must be filed within two years from the date of the accident.
What does Workers' Compensation Cover?
Workers’ Compensation pays for medical treatment, loss of wages, and compensation for permanent disability resulting from a work related accident. It is an elaborate system that allows injured employees to recover lost earnings as a result of injuries to certain body parts and diseases contracted at work. One of the greatest confusions is over the term of impairment and disability, which may mean different things in different legal situations.
Workers' Compensation Coverage & Aggravated Pre-existing Injuries
An employee can also receive Workers’ Compensation benefits if he or she aggravates an already existing injury. If an employee aggravates an injury that they sustained while serving in the armed forces or from a previous job, then the employer will be required to compensate the employee to the extent that they would have if the previous injury never occurred.
Does Workers' Compensation Cover Illness?
Getting sick on the job or “occupational disease” (Repetitive Stress Injuries) that results in an employee not being able to work requires proof by a “preponderance of the evidence” or more likely than not that the employee actually got sick while on the job. This proof most likely has to be by a medical expert who can say to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that work caused the occupational disease.
Mental Stress & Workers' Compensation
Mental stress can also be compensated by Workers’ Compensation. As long as the workplace conditions were extraordinary and unusual in comparison to the normal conditions of the particular employment and medical evidence supports that they were the cause of the stress, a valid Workers’ Compensation claim exists.
South Carolinas Workers' Compensation Law
The Workers’ Compensation law in South Carolina was revised on July 1, 2007. It is a comprehensive law that changes many of the previous statutes and common law. It may be particularly important to contact a workers’ compensation attorney about your Workers’ Compensation case due to the many new standards and proofs that must be met to successfully prevail in a Workers’ Compensation case.
If an employee is unable to work for more than seven (7) days, the employee can be compensated at sixty-six and two-thirds percent of their average weekly wage from the 8th day out until the 14th day out. If the employee is unable to work for more than fourteen (14) days, the employee can receive compensation from the original date of accident. This simple formula seems to cause the greatest confusion about when and if an employee will be paid temporary benefits–additionally, the employer/carrier may take steps to create a light duty position to keep you from being out of work to avoid paying these benefits.
Workers' Compensation Disputes
If there is a dispute about a Workers’ Compensation payment, an employee can request a hearing before a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The hearing will usually take place in whichever county the injury occurred.
A Knowledgeable Legal Advocates in Times of Need
If you have suffered any injury or illness as a result of work, please contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at Craig Wilkerson. Our expert knowledge in matters of Workers’ Compensation will help you receive all the benefits you are entitled to under the law.