Workers' Compensation For Permanent Disabilities
On-the-job injuries happen. Whether due to a safety issue, job hazard, or simply the result of an accident, if you’re injured on the job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation. Acting as a form of insurance, workers’ compensation provides employees the assurance that if they are hurt in the course of their employment, their injuries will be covered, and they’ll be reimbursed for any lost wages. But what if your injuries are of a more serious nature? Some job-related accidents cause injuries that are not only severe; they’re permanent.
Injuries causing permanent disability require more than just a few weeks of recovery. Medical treatments may be ongoing, and your ability to earn a living may be dramatically impaired. In cases like these, benefits available through workers’ compensation may be the first step in putting your life back together again.
Permanent Disability-Total or Partial
Workers’ compensation classifies permanent disabilities as either total or partial. Under Section 42-9-10 of the South Carolina Code of Law, a permanent, total disability is classified as the loss of use of any of the following:
- Arms or hands
- Feet or legs
In order to be considered for total disability, the loss of use would have to involve at least two of the above; for example, the loss of use of both hands, or the loss of a hand and arm. Obviously, a head, neck or spine injury resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia is considered a total permanent disability, as are brain injuries resulting in permanent brain damage.
Partial disabilities are listed under Section 49-9-30 of the SC Code. It’s an exhaustive list, which includes the loss of use of basically any body part or organ, from the loss of a toe to the loss of an eye. Benefits are painstakingly calculated according to each part.
Permanent Total or Permanent Partial Benefits
The type and amount of workers’ compensation benefits paid due to a permanent injury is dependent on whether the injury is classified as permanent total or permanent partial as listed above.
Permanent, Total Disability: An injured worker may be entitled to receive close to 64% of his weekly wages for a total of up to 500 weeks, or almost 10 years. A worker who, as a result of his injuries, is a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or suffers permanent brain damage, is not subject to the 500-week restriction and may be able to claim workers’ compensation for the duration of his lifetime.
Permanent, Partial Disability: An injured worker will be paid a percentage of his pay, for a certain period of time, dependent on the particular injury, and the estimated impact the injury is expected to have on the worker’s ability to earn wages. (see SC Code Section 42-9-30)
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a permanent disability as a result of an on the job injury, contact our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys today. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we can help you get the maximum benefits you deserve to cover medical expenses and lost wages. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, our attorneys will fight for your rights and can help you cut through all the red tape. Call us today for help.