Every job has its own risks. Regardless of your work duties, you can suffer an on-the-job injury that will leave you sidelined for a while. Actually, work-related injuries are rather common. Thousands of people suffer injuries while working every year. Most employers across the United States are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Workers’ compensation offers no-fault protection, providing medical benefits and covering a portion of lost wages while the worker recovers. The laws for workers’ comp vary from state to state. South Carolina has its own specific workers’ comp laws.
What Happens After I Get a Workplace Injury?
According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, every employer and employee in the state is assumed to have workers’ compensation coverage. There are some exclusions to the provision, however. Railroad companies and their employees, federal employees working in South Carolina, some real estate salespeople, employees in the agricultural industry, corporate officers by-election, and employees of businesses with less than four employees are not covered per the Act. The Act states that employers who are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage to keep adequate coverage so they can pay the required compensation in the event that a worker is injured or becomes ill. The employer must provide the Commission with proof of the ability to pay compensation that an employee is owed in such situation or proof of the proper coverage to cover the costs of such work-related incidents. The South Carolina Department of Insurance oversees workers’ compensation coverage in Greenville and the rest of South Carolina.
If you are a worker in Greenville, SC who suffers an illness or injury while working, you can expect compensation for your personal injury or illness or the loss of life resulting from employment. Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is very precise in what is covered for injured workers. It will cover the costs of necessary medical care to treat the injury, take care of a portion of the lost wages while you are recovering and unable to work, and provide compensation for any permanent disabilities and scarring or disfigurement resulting from the Greenville work-related accident.
When it comes to determining how much you will be compensated for being unable to work, South Carolina workers’ compensation laws are pretty precise. If you cannot work for longer than seven days because of your work-related injury, you are to receive compensation equal to 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay. Your pay, however, cannot exceed more than 100% of the state’s average weekly wage which the South Carolina Employment Security Commission determines every six months. If your total disability period exceeds 14 days, you can start receiving compensation backdated to the initial day of your Greenville work injury.
If the accident results in total disability or death, the state has a maximum award limit. In such cases, you can receive up to 500 weeks of your pay. Once again, the compensation rate is determined by the average wages for the worker every week, but the average weekly wage for the state cannot be exceeded. If both arms, both feet, both hands, both legs or the vision in both eyes are lost or if the accident was so severe the individual has two of those losses combined in any form, total and permanent disability is warranted per the state guidelines. Other disability determinations that are based on the impairment or losses resulting from the injuries are made by the commissioner on a case by case basis.
What Procedures Should I Follow If Injured While Working in Greenville, SC?
If you suffer an injury while on the job, it is normal to be nervous, scared and shaken. However, you need to know what protocol to follow to protect your rights and to ensure that you have everything in order to file a Greenville workers’ compensation claim so you can recover compensation for the damages and losses that you suffer. You should report the accident to your employer as quickly as possible. If you fail to notify a supervisor as quickly as possible, you could lose your benefits. The work-related injury must be reported within 90 days of the date of the accident, per the South Carolina regulations.
Any workers’ compensation claims seeking compensation must be filed within two years of the death of the worker or the date of the work accident. After an employer is notified of an injury or made aware of a work accident, a representative of the employer must inform the commission of the accident and injury within ten days. The commission is responsible for monitoring the payment of the medical expenses and the lost wages. The commission will monitor the employer or the insurance company to ensure proper protocols are followed and that the worker gets the benefits that he or she should receive.
When injured on the job, don’t delay getting medical care. Seek treatment from a medical professional right away. If you have life-threatening injuries, don’t hesitate to call 911 and get an ambulance transport. Take note of any witnesses so they can be contacted for a statement regarding what they saw. When your employer is notified of your Greenville work injury, make sure you are honest and straightforward in explaining what happened and how it happened. A no-fault program, your workers’ compensation benefits are payable even if you are partly to blame for what happened.
What If My Greenville Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
There are instances where workers are denied the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to receive. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Greenville and your claim has been denied, you can request a hearing. There are several valid reasons to file a petition to request a hearing before a commissioner. Some of the more common causes of hearings are caused by the employer trying to deny that the injuries were sustained during the employee’s workday or because the employer neglected to properly and promptly report the work accident and injury to the commission. Another reason to request a hearing is if the worker is not receiving the full benefits that he or she is entitled to receive after having been injured on the job. You can also ask for a hearing if you are your employer don’t reach an amicable agreement in regards to your compensation within 14 days of the employer being notified of your injury or if you have a disagreement regarding your pay being continued as you recover.
When the commissioner’s decision is not satisfactory, you can appeal the decision to the State Commission for further review. The panel will consist of anywhere from three to six commissioners and will not include the original commissioner who rendered the initial ruling. If you are still unhappy with the appellate panel’s decision, you can continue the appeals to the Court of Common Pleas and if necessary, onto the State Appellate Courts.
Consult with a Greenville Workplace Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you suffered an injury in a work-related accident in Greenville, SC, you need to enlist the help of experienced legal representation. With more than two decades of experience helping injured workers, the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has helped dozens of injured workers get the benefits that they are entitled to receive. If you have been hurt on the job, call the offices of Dan Pruitt at (864) 280-7660 today for a free initial consultation.
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.