What does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ Compensation pays for medical treatment, loss of wages, and compensation for permanent disability after an on the job injury accident. It is a detailed system that allows injured workers to recover lost earnings as a result of injuries or 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.
It is important to know, however, that unlike personal injury claims, injured workers are only allowed to recover a portion of their lost wages. If an employee misses work due to injury for more than seven days, the employee will be compensated at 66 ⅔% of their average weekly wage up to the average weekly wage rate in South Carolina from the 8th day out until the 14th day out. In 2019, the maximum weekly payment you can receive for loss of wages after a workplace accident is $845.74.
If the employee is unable to work for more than fourteen days, the employee will be able to receive compensation from the original date of accident. These temporary total disability benefits will continue until your doctor releases you back to work. 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.
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.
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. However, proving that a pre-existing illness or injury was made worse while on the job can be difficult without the help of an experienced and skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Illness?
Illness sustained on the job or “occupational diseases” (Repetitive Stress Injuries) which result 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.
Contact Our Rock Hill, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
If you have been injured on the job, you may not collect the benefits you are entitled to under South Carolina law without an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. At the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson, our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys know that injured workers need money to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and future disabilities.
Call us today at (803) 324-7200 (Rock Hill), (803) 289-7202 (Lancaster), 8033965200 (Fort Mill), (864) 466-5170 (Union) or fill out our confidential contact form. With offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Union, and Lancaster, we are here when you need us.