WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA
According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, a total of 61,676 new workers’ compensation cases were filed in the fiscal year 2016-2017. Of those, 24,137 were new cases and 37,629 were minor medical reports. These cases include numerous injuries from both minor accidents and major industrial accidents, and in some cases, these workplace accidents even resulted in death.
While many Greer, South Carolina employers work hard to ensure their employees have a safe place to work, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the risk of work-related accidents. When a worker is injured on the job in South Carolina, he is entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim, even where the accident was the worker’s fault.
Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina
In South Carolina, there is a set of laws known as the Workers’ Compensation Act. These laws encompass a series of rules that are designed to protect you if you have suffered an injury in the course of your employment. If you or a co-worker has been injured on the job, you’re entitled to recover such things as medical expenses, lost wages, and/or disability benefits.
South Carolina Employers Who Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
An employer in South Carolina that employs more than four (4) full-time or part-time employees must have workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured for the risk that an employee may be injured.
There are exceptions to this rule, such as South Carolina employers who had a payroll of less than $3,000 the previous year, railroad companies and agricultural companies.
Common South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation claims in Greer, South Carolina, can involve many types of incidents or accidents that can cause serious illnesses or injuries. Some of the most common South Carolina work-place injuries include:
- Construction Site Accidents. This is the most common workers’ compensation claim made in Easley and throughout South Carolina.
- Scaffolding Accidents or Falls.
- Chemical Spills
- Electrocution Accidents
- Exposure to toxic or carcinogenic chemicals or materials
- Crushing Accidents
- Trip and Fall Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
Common South Carolina On-The-Job-Injuries
To be eligible for South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits, a worker must have been injured during the scope and course of his work. Common workplace injuries in Greer, South Carolina, include but aren’t limited to:
- Burn Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries, including herniated disks.
- Repetitive Injuries. This type of injuries includes such things as carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Work-Related Illnesses. Illnesses related to work conditions could include lung disease, mesothelioma, and heart conditions.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act entitles a worker to benefits for an injury, occupational illness, or death if it’s related to their employment.
Workers who are injured on the job are entitled to the following types of benefits: Payment of medical expenses, both past and future, including mileage to and from your medical appointments, and prescription medication costs; temporarily lost wages; and compensation for permanent partial and total disability.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Rate
By South Carolina law, an injured worker’s weekly workers’ compensation benefit must be equal to 66 and two-thirds (66 2/3%) percent of the amount of his average weekly wage. However, the compensation rate cannot exceed the average weekly wage in South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the weekly maximum for 2018 is $838.21.
In addition, employees who are injured in a work-related accident in South Carolina may be eligible to receive disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. There’s a schedule set out in the statutes that is quite detailed about how many weeks of benefits are assigned to injuries to specific body parts. Only a few extremely serious cases allow for a lifetime of benefits to an injured worker. These cases include injuries resulting in paralysis or catastrophic brain injury.
What to do After a Workplace Accident in Greer, South Carolina
If you are injured on the job, there are certain steps you should take after the accident. They include:
- Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in reporting your injury. A failure to report the injury to your supervisor within 90 days could cause your valid workers’ compensation claim to be denied. A delay in reporting also creates a lag time before you are able to seek medical attention for your injuries. This means that your symptoms may go untreated, and it gives your employer an opportunity to deny that your injury occurred in the workplace and dispute your claim.
The law in South Carolina gives you up to 90 days to report your workplace injury. The 90 days can be extended if you have suffered a debilitating injury and are unable to communicate with your employer.
In some cases, the 90-day clock doesn’t go into effect until the date you discovered or could have discovered the injury. This means that if you were diagnosed with something like carpel tunnel syndrome, you have 90 days from the date of the diagnosis, not the date where the injury to your wrist first happened.
Once you’ve reported the injury to your supervisor you should go see a doctor to get treatment for your injuries. It’s important to follow the instructions given to you by your employer and doctor.
- Hire a Greer, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney. A knowledgeable and skilled Greer, South Carolina attorney will investigate your case, evaluate your injuries, and calculate the potential value of your workers’ compensation case. Additionally, your Greer, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney will also advise you as to the next steps that should be taken in your individual case.
Filing A South Carolina Workers Compensation Claim
In many cases, your employer will report your injury to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, sometimes the employer might deny the claim, so that it’s up to you and your Greer, South Carolina, attorney to to begin the process of filing your claim by filing a Form 50 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Can Your Employer Punish You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The short answer is no. The law states that employers cannot fire or punish a worker for filing a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim. In addition, the law is very clear that an employer is not allowed to fire or punish any co-workers who may be called in to testify on an injured worker’s behalf.
Why You Need a Greer, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation laws and procedures in South Carolina can be complex and confusing, and going through the bureaucracy of dealing with a government agency may feel overwhelming. Your Greer, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can properly navigate the system, file the appropriate paperwork, and ensure you get all the South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, so you can focus on recovering from your work-related injuries. Call David R. Price Jr., P.A. today!