Workplace injuries are inevitable, regardless of the occupation. Secretaries may develop carpal tunnel syndrome from long hours on a keyboard; warehouse workers may develop back strain from heavy lifting, chefs might experience a kitchen burn, and postal service workers could encounter a perilous situation with an angry dog. All of these incidents, and more, entitle workers to diagnostic and medical care through South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation. But sometimes navigating the complex bureaucracy can be cumbersome and overwhelming. That’s when having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can be helpful.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act
South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) allows for employees who have experienced accidents or injuries as a result of their employment to receive medical treatment, as well as compensation for lost wages, for a period of time. If a long-term or permanent disability results from a workplace incident, a worker is entitled to permanent disability benefits.
Employer Rights in South Carolina
To be sure, employers do have specific rights and responsibilities in workers’ compensation claims. They may select the doctor you see. If you choose to be treated by your own physician in circumstances not deemed a medical emergency, it may not be reimbursable by workers’ compensation.
Employee Responsibilities in South Carolina
Employees are required to report workplace injuries to their employers right away, and request information as to how to obtain services from an approved physician. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will then cover any treatments that are authorized by that physician.
Lost Wages in South Carolina
In the event you are unable to work for a period of time, workers’ compensation will compensate you roughly two-thirds of your usual weekly wages, maxing out at just over $800 per week.
Disability Impairment Ratings in South Carolina
If your injury results in some degree of permanent impairment, your doctor will determine what is called the maximum medical improvement (MMI). This designation indicates that your progress has reached its plateau, and further treatment will not significantly impact your recovery. The American Medical Association has published a guide to help physicians evaluate impairments. Your physician will determine an impairment rating based on your circumstances, which will be used to determine the amount of compensation you receive in a workers’ compensation claim.
Challenges Along the Way in South Carolina
Throughout the workers’ compensation process, you will be required to follow specific procedures in order to avoid negating your workers’ compensation claim. A number of issues may prompt you to seek legal assistance along the way. Some common problems include:
- Your employer denies the claim altogether;
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim;
- You wish to challenge the impairment rating assigned following an injury; or
- You disagree with the MMI determination.
Legal Assistance in South Carolina
Suffering a workplace injury is bad enough without having to battle your employer and their insurance carrier for the coverage you deserve. If you find that you are not getting a fair and reasonable response to your injuries, the aggressive and experienced team at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm can help. We are experienced in workers’ compensation cases, and will fight to ensure you get the treatment and financial assistance to which you are entitled. Contact us in Greenville for a free, confidential consultation today.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.