Workers in Seneca, South Carolina, can suffer injuries on the job. It could be a minor slip and fall accident, or something more serious like a debilitating industrial accident. If workers you are injured on the job while working in South Carolina, then you are entitled to receive benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
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
What Employers Have to Have Workers’ Comp?
In South Carolina, any employer who employs four or more full- or part-time employees must have workers’ compensation insurance in place.
However, there are exceptions. Employers in the agriculture industry, railroad companies, and any business that has a payroll of less than $3,000 in the previous year are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Seneca, South Carolina
If you are injured on the job, you may be eligible to receive benefits such as medical expenses, lost wages, mileage, and disability. If you suffer a permanent disability, loss of limbs, or disfigurement due to a work-related injury, you may be entitled to disability benefits for a number of weeks. If a worker is killed in a work-related accident, his or her family can receive the benefits.
The South Carolina Workers Compensation Act states that an injured worker ’s weekly workers’ compensation benefit will be equal to 66 2/3 percent of the workers’ average weekly wage. However, a worker’s compensation rate cannot exceed the average weekly wage in South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the weekly maximum is $838.21 in 2018.
South Carolina employees who are injured in a work-related accident may be able to receive disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. There’s a detailed schedule in the statutes that indicates how many weeks of benefits are normally attached to injuries to certain body parts. Only a few extremely serious cases where a worker is paralyzed or suffers a catastrophic traumatic brain injury allow for lifetime benefits.
Common Workplace Injuries in Seneca, SC
In Seneca, and throughout South Carolina some of the most common injuries suffered in the workplace include:
- Broken Bones
- Sprained muscles
- Knee, back and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory illness
- Herniated disks
- Psychological damage such as severe anxiety and/or depression
If a worker dies due to a Seneca, South Carolina work-related injury, the injured worker’s family members can pursue a claim for death benefits.
In these cases, the dependents of the deceased worker will be able to receive weekly payments of up to 66 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage for no less than 500 weeks. In addition, a burial allowance is provided to the family members of the deceased.
What to do After a Seneca, South Carolina Workplace Accident
If you’re 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: It is very important to promptly report of the accident to your employer. If you do not report the injury to your supervisor within 90 days, you may be denied your workers’ compensation claim and benefits. In addition, any delay in reporting the injury can create a delay before you are able to see a doctor 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 to 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 carpal 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. South Carolina law dictates that your employer has the right to select the doctor you see. It’s important to follow the instructions given to you by your employer and doctor.
Hire a Seneca, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney: It’s your attorney’s job to investigate your case, evaluate your injuries, and calculate the potential value of your workers’ compensation case. In addition, your Seneca, 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
Most of the time your employer will report your injury to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, sometimes the employer might deny the claim, in which case it will be up to you or your Seneca, South Carolina attorney to bring the claim by filing a document known as a Form 50.
Can Your Employer Punish You for Filing a Seneca, SC Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The law states that employers cannot fire or punish you for filing a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim. In addition, the law clearly states that your employer is not allowed to fire or punish any co-workers who may be called in to testify about your case.
Why You Need a Seneca, SC Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Filing a workers’ compensation claim and pushing it through the South Carolina bureaucracy can be highly complex and confusing. Your Seneca workers’ compensation attorney can take that burden off your shoulders, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. If you have been injured on the job, contact David R. Price, Jr. P.A. to learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim so you and your family get the benefits you deserve.