Workplace injuries occur every day in South Carolina, and worker’s compensation is the safety net designed to provide the care and compensation necessary for injured workers. Understanding the guidelines and processes involved can be a bureaucratic nightmare, so working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is often a good idea.
Permanent Impairment Rating in South Carolina
An authorized physician must examine you to determine the level of impairment your injury has caused. The disability will then be evaluated to determine the degree to which it inhibits your ability to work. Beyond the injury itself, your education, experience, and other personal dynamics will be evaluated.
Notably, the determination of permanent disability is not based exclusively on medical factors. Rather, it is related to the ability of the individual to be gainfully employed. If that ability is limited or absent due to an impairment, and if it is unlikely to improve markedly in the future, it will be classified as a permanent disability. In fact, the rating of permanent disability is an administrative, not a medical determination.
On the other hand, physical impairment relates specifically to the functional or anatomical issues that may exist after an accident. If that impairment continues to limit functioning following rehabilitation, it is considered a permanent impairment.
In the event you experience something less than a total recovery, it is possible to receive compensation even though you may have returned to working full-time. Additionally, compensation may be awarded if you are disfigured, including if you experience keloid scarring or serious burns, or any scarring on your face, neck or head.
Total Permanent Disability in South Carolina
Individuals who experience brain damage, paraplegia, or quadriplegia are entitled to weekly benefits for life. Otherwise, those with total permanent disabilities are entitled to just nine and one-half years of compensation.
Appealing Decisions with the SC Court of Appeals
Except in rare cases, decisions made by a workers’ compensation commissioner may be appealed and be revisited by a panel. Such requests for an appeal must be filed within two weeks of the original decision, and include a $150 filing fee. Any appeals of the panel’s decision must then be filed with the Court of Appeals, which can then be appealed with the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Certainly, the appeals process can become quite cumbersome. The cascade of paperwork, investigation, and footwork necessary to secure a successful appeal can seem overwhelming. But with the experienced and dedicated legal team of Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm on your side, you can rest assured that the deadlines and forms will be properly addressed, and your legal advocates will fight for the best possible outcomes. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact us in Greenville today.