Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina

Rock Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you are injured on the job, you may be concerned about how this injury will affect your future, your lifestyle and your career. Workers who’ve been injured on the job are often worried that they will lose their job if they report the injury or that they will be viewed negatively by coworkers or managers. Fortunately, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws protect injured workers from retaliation and provide a pathway for collecting compensation after a work-related injury or illness. However, without a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you may not obtain your full benefits and compensation.

At the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson, our Rock Hill workers’ compensation lawyers have over 20 years of experience representing injured workers who have sustained serious injury and harm while on the job. We know that Workers’ Compensation differs greatly from traditional negligence (Tort) actions involving automobile accidents. As such, we can help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to under South Carolina law and file any third party personal injury claims if you are able. We also know that you need money now to pay for lost wages and medical expenses and we work tirelessly to ensure that all your rights to compensation are protected every step of the way.

Photo of Workers Compensation and Third Party Claims

Being Injured on the Job in South Carolina

The Workers’ Compensation law in South Carolina was last revised on July 1, 2007. It is a comprehensive law that changes many of the previous statutes and common law. South Carolina workers’ compensation laws protect both injured workers and their employers.

After a workplace accident, injured workers are automatically eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages without having to prove liability or negligence. When a worker is injured on the job, they are unable to file a lawsuit against their employer, but instead must seek compensation through the workers’ compensation system. Employers are then protected from costly and time consuming lawsuits.

If your workplace accident is caused by a third party, such as a subcontractor or independent agency, you may be able to file a third party lawsuit to collect further compensation. It is possible to have both a Workers’ Compensation case and a tort claim (3rd Party Claim) in the same case.

When you are injured on the job in South Carolina, it is important that you notify your employer immediately. You only have 90 days to report the injury to your employer. In addition, claims for Workers’ Compensation cases must be filed within two years from the date of the accident.

If you miss this deadline, you will be barred from filing a claim and collecting the money you need. As such, it may be particularly important to contact an attorney about your Workers’ Compensation case due to the many new standards and proof that must be met to successfully prevail in a Workers’ Compensation case.

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.