Imagine that you were unloading a truck for your employer but you were not adhering to company procedures when your foot was smashed by a pallet jack. You had to be taken to the hospital by an ambulance, you now require long-term medical care, and you will be unable to work for a few months.
Fortunately, you can still pursue a workers’ compensation claim even if you were partly to blame for the accident. Workers’ compensation in South Carolina is a no-fault system. As long as you were injured at work during the course of your employment, you are eligible to file for workers’ compensation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance that most employers are required to maintain for their employees at no charge. Workers’ compensation laws do vary from one state to the next, but in general, workers’ compensation covers the cost of any medical care and will pay about two-thirds your regular salary while you are recovering from the injury if you are unable to work per doctor’s orders.
In South Carolina, if you are unable to work while recovering for your injury, you are eligible to receive 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wages, but that payment cannot exceed 100 percent of the average weekly wage in the state as determined by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. In 2020, that means workers’ compensation benefits for your salary cannot exceed $866.67 per week. We have a workers’ compensation calculator to help you determine your potential compensation rate.
You are also eligible to receive medical treatment at no cost so long as it can reasonably be expected to lessen the extent of your disability from your work injury. However, state law allows your employer to choose your treating physician and failing to see the doctor selected by your employer could end up costing you. If you seek treatment from your own doctor without your employer’s permission, you could end up being responsible for the costs unless it was a true emergency.
Finally, you are eligible to receive permanent benefits intended to compensate you for any disability that persists from your injury once you reach maximum medical improvement. The amount that you will be entitled to depends on the body part injured and the degree of disability to that body part as determined by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
There are strict deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim, and detailed forms must be completed. You have 90 days from the date of the accident to notify your employer of your injury, and you have two years to file your workers’ compensation claim.
To make sure everything is filed in a timely manner, and to ensure you are treated fairly throughout the claims process, you should enlist the help of an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. Contact the offices of David R. Price, Jr., P.A., for a free consultation.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.