Workers compensation lawyers who are experienced understand that work injuries can take a toll on all aspects of your life. If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries at the workplace, get in touch with a workers compensation lawyer immediately.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that in 2019, private industry employers alone reported 2.8 million nonfatal work-related injuries. The report goes further to suggest that one American dies at their workplace every 99 minutes. Such statistics show how serious the problem can be.
Death related expenses, expensive medical treatment, and lost income resulting from workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses can make life extremely difficult. After the accident, you will not only be nursing your injuries or mourning the death of your loved one (who was possibly the sole breadwinner), but also worrying over where the next paycheck will come from or whether you’ll ever receive one at all. Worse still, insurance carriers and your employer most likely won’t make it easy for you to get even the bare minimum benefits that the law stipulates.
Call us at 843-863-1800 for your free initial consultation with our experienced North Charleston Workers’ Compensation lawyer today if you need help with pursuing work injury compensation.
How Workers Compensation system developed: The Grand Bargain
The push and pull between employers and workers gave birth to the workers’ compensation law. How Workers Compensation Laws Developed .While employers wanted to avoid expensive lawsuits resulting from work injuries, workers didn’t want to shoulder the enormous medical bills following death or injury at work. Workers and employers came together and struck a compromise:
- In exchange for limits on their liability, companies relinquished their common law defenses in work accident suits.
- On their part, workers abandoned their right to bring a claim against their employers in exchange for immediate and guaranteed benefits.
With time, this financial give and take have developed into a concrete system of laws that have worked to bring many benefits to injured workers, including compensation for lost income, medical bills, and disability benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you win such payments if you fell sick or suffered injuries related to your job.
How can a Workers’ Compensation lawyer help you?
The goal of a workers’ compensation lawyer is to ensure you win the maximum benefits that you deserve. However, the insurance carrier’s lawyer will ensure they minimize these benefits (although they would be happier if they avoided settling the claim altogether). Thus, it’s crucial to have a formidable legal team fighting to protect your interests.
To win the maximum workers’ compensation benefits, you will have to prove your case, hence necessitating an attorney’s need. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with:
- Collecting medical records and evidence
- Drafting necessary legal documents such as motions, pleadings, briefs, and findings of fact
- Taking testimonies of parties such as you, doctors, experts, and eyewitnesses
- Leading insurance settlement negotiations
- Researching applicable laws
- Conducting discovery
- Taking the case to court, if need be
Understanding South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers compensation lawyers are trained to know the “rules” of the workers compensation system. If you suffer injuries at work arising out of and in the course of your employment, South Carolina law allows you to claim compensation benefits. Claiming workers’ compensation benefits shouldn’t make you feel like a “headache” to your company. These benefits are enshrined in the South Carolina Code of Laws. You are claiming what is rightfully yours while at work, and it shouldn’t make you feel bad.
South Carolina is a no-fault state. The state law would qualify you for work injury benefits even if you caused the accident that left you nursing injuries. The law aims at ensuring an injured worker gets fair treatment and cares less about establishing negligence or proving who was at fault.
However, the insurance carrier fight your settlement claim if:
- your injury didn’t take place at work
- you were intoxicated (under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
- the doctor who treated your injuries wasn’t approved
- you never went for medical care
- your injuries resulted from a practical joke, horseplay, or roughhousing
- your injuries were a preexisting condition before the accident
- you intentionally hurt yourself
However, don’t be quick to dismiss your case based on the above grounds. Consult with a reputable worker’s compensation lawyer for an evaluation of your case and proper legal counsel. Sometimes, deep-pocketed insurance firms use their financial muscles and legal expertise to avoid reimbursing injured employees with their dully-deserved benefits.
Understandably, you might be hesitant to bring a claim so that you will not antagonize your employer. However, the law requires any employer with four workers or more workers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Usually it’s not your employer that will pay your claim; it’s their insurance carrier.
Moreover, the law bars your employer from punishing or firing you for filing a compensation claim. The protection also covers your coworkers who would wish to testify in your favor.
Time restrictions for work-related claims in SC
Although you have three months from the day you discovered your injuries to notify your boss about your work-related illness or injury, the best practice is to IMMEDIATELY tell your employer if you have a work injury or illness. For example, if you hurt your back at work the three-month period will start at the moment after you discovered that the damage is related to your job.
If you intend to file a worker’s compensation lawsuit in South Carolina, you have two years to do so from the day you suffered the injuries. While the statute of limitations for such cases in SC is two years, some circumstances can make the court to extend the time, including:
- Minor’s statute of limitation begins to run after attaining the majority age.
- If the work injury left you incapacitated, you suffered a mental condition that took several years to treat; for example, you can bring your claim after getting better.
- You discovered your injuries late.
Contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer immediately if you suffer injuries while performing your official work duties. An attorney will help you draft the necessary documents and file your claim on time to help beat the South Carolina statute of limitations. A lawyer understands how vital legal deadlines can affect your case and will make sure your claim is protected.
Common Workplace Injuries
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways to get hurt at work. Workers’ compensation law apply for any harm to any part of your body that is work-related. Fortunately, most work injuries are minor and require little to no medical treatment. However, others are catastrophic and can last for a lifetime. Worst still, other injuries lead to fatalities.
Most common work-related injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Fractured bones
- Back and neck injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory issues
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of hearing
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your employer has a good workers compensation insurance plan, the benefits you will receive after suffering work injuries will fall into four main groups:
- Past and current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Payment of lost income (partial and total)
- Compensation for long-term disabilities and impairments
- Compensation for a reduction in earning capacity
Don’t assume that your employer or insurance company will file for your compensation. In fact many times the employer does not even report the claim to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. In many cases when we are hired by an injured worker, the first time the claim is officially reported is by us. Insurance carriers will be try to minimize the settlement and your boss will pressure you to return to work or deny you any extra medical care you may need. To protect your interests, you need to retain a workers’ compensation lawyer. A skilled lawyer will fight to ensure that you get all your medical and other benefits, including:
Medical benefits that you can claim include bills for prescription drugs, surgery, doctor’s consultation fees, ambulance, travel-related costs, and physical and mental therapy sessions.
The income you lost during your recovery is also part of what you can claim. If a work-related illness or injury keeps you out of employment for at least 7 days, you are eligible for temporary workers’ compensation. You are entitled to be paid two-thirds of the weekly income you would receive if you hadn’t suffered the injuries. Many times employers and insurance companies take advantage of injured workers and pay less than they should pay. For example many times the insurance company calculates the compensation rate without considering overtime. This illegal and improper and can cost the employee thousands or tens of thousands in benefits they are entitled to receive. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will fight to ensure that you are treated fairly.
How long do workers’ compensation benefits last?
According to the SC Workers’ Compensation Act, you can receive disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. . A comprehensive schedule for each body part is contained in the South Carolina Code of Laws and South Carolina Workers Compensation regulations. exists clarifying the approximate number of days or financial help you can attach to various types of damages. The document contains trivial injuries that attract a few days of payments to incapacitating injuries that require a more durable compensation plan.
As defined by state law, the loss of both hands, arms, shoulders, feet, legs, hips, or vision in both eyes, or any two thereof, constitutes a total and permanent disability. These injuries are not limited to the five-hundred-week limitation for payment and entitles an injured person to lifetime benefits.
You are also, under certain circumstances, entitled to lifetime medical benefits for the injury.
If you suffered workplace injuries and aren’t sure whether they meet the requirements seek an expert opinion. To start the journey to recovery of any of the benefits mentioned above, you can get in touch with a reputable contact workers compensation lawyer for an expert evaluation of your case.
Experienced workers compensation lawyer helps you focus on recovery.
If you or a family member suffered work-related injuries, contact our skilled workers compensation lawyer immediately. We can help make sure you get the medical treatment and compensation you are entitled to by law. We will assess the scope of the your claim, gather the required evidence, help you file your claim, and defend your interests both against insurers and in court, if necessary.
Call us now on 843-863-1800 to schedule your initial consultation.