While most employers in South Carolina strive to make the workplace a safe environment for their employees, accidents at work still happen. According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, in the fiscal year of 2016-2017 a total of 61,676 new workers’ compensation cases were filed. Of those, 24,137 were new cases and 37,629 were Minor Medical Reports.
Definition of South Carolina Workers’ Compensation
Like most other states, South Carolina has a Workers’ Compensation Act. This Act lays out rules that are designed to protect you and your Mauldin, SC co-workers who suffer an injury due to your employment. Anyone who is injured at work is entitled to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and/or disability benefits should you become injured at your place of employment.
In South Carolina, the law states that any business that employs four or more workers on a part-time or full-time basis must have workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are some exceptions, such as businesses in the agricultural industry, railroad companies, and businesses that had a payroll of less than $3,000 in the previous year.
Most Dangerous South Carolina Industries
South Carolina state officials report that the construction industry is the worst in terms of workplace deaths. Construction workers, agricultural workers, and manufacturing workers suffer the majority of deadly accidents.
As far as non-fatal workplace accidents, health care workers have the most non-fatal work injuries nationwide. The United States Department of Labor reports that nurses, orderlies, and other medical professionals suffer more non-fatal injuries per capita than those in the manufacturing and construction industries.
Common Workplace Injuries in Mauldin, South Carolina
While there are any number of injuries that could take place in a South Carolina workplace, the most common include:
- 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.
Death in the Workplace
If a worker is killed in a work-related accident, his or her family members can pursue a claim for death benefits. A claim for death benefits must be filed within 2 years of the injury. A deceased worker’s family members may be eligible to receive weekly payments of up to 66 and two-thirds of the deceased worker’s weekly wage for a period of up to 500 weeks. In addition, a burial allowance is also provided.
Common Causes of Workplace Accidents in Mauldin, South Carolina
Any number of circumstances may arise to cause a work-related accident depending on your type of employment in South Carolina. The most common cause of workplace accidents include, but aren’t limited to:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents.
- Exposure to Harmful Chemicals.
- Industrial Accidents.
- Equipment Malfunctions.
- Crush Injuries.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries.
It’s important to note that the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is there to protect you and your co-workers if you are injured for any reason, as long as the injury occurred during the scope and course of your South Carolina employment. An injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation, even if he was a fault for his injuries.
What to do if You’re Injured in a Mauldin, South Carolina Work-Related Accident
If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina workplace accident you should report it immediately. While the law does dictate that you have 90 days to report the injury, it’s best not to wait. Any delay in reporting your work-related injury to your supervisor as soon as possible could give your employer a better chance to dispute your injury, a reason to deny the injury took place at your place of employment, and cause a delay in you receiving the necessary medical treatment for your injuries.
In cases where a worker receives a debilitating injury while at work and is unable to communicate with his employer, that 90-day time limit may be extended. Likewise, in cases that involve a repetitive stress injury, the 90 days reporting period doesn’t begin until the date the injured worker discovered the injury, not the date the injury occurred.
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim in Maudlin, South Carolina
Normally, your South Carolina employer will report your injury to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, but in some cases, your employer might deny the claim.
If so, you or your Maudlin, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney must file the claim using a document known as a Form 50.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is all about timing. In South Carolina, if you are injured at work, you’re generally required to file your claim within two (2)years of the accident. This timeline can vary if you’re injury is a repetitive stress injury or an occupational disease such as mesothelioma.
As of fiscal year, 2016-2017, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission’s timeframe for a claim to be processed is, on average, 30 days. The timeframe for a hearing request to be processed averages around 90 days.
An employer isn’t allowed to fire or punish you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, assuming your injury occurred in the work-place. In addition, your employer cannot fire or otherwise punish one of your co-workers for testifying in support of your injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the workers’ compensation system guarantees that if you’re injured while working and file a claim for benefits within the required time period, then you are entitled to compensation for such things as medical expenses, lost wages, mileage, and, if your injuries warrant it, disability benefits.
With regard to compensation for wage loss, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Act sets the wage compensation rate at 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. This amount, however, is subject to South Carolina’s minimum and maximum compensation range.
The minimum compensation rate a person can receive is set by law at $75.00 per week. The maximum 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.
How Long South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can Last
Under that South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, if you’re injured at work you could receive disability payments for up to 500 weeks. There is a schedule in the statutes that sets forth how many weeks of benefits an injured worker may receive based on the part of the body that was injured.
Why You Need A Maudlin, 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 Mauldin, 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.