What Happens if an Accident Causes Me To Miss Work?
If you suffer an injury while on the job in South Carolina, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation. Because South Carolina is a “no-fault” state, any negligence demonstrated on your part will not affect your compensation.
If you have to take time off work to recover from your injuries, workers’ compensation benefits may cover a portion of your salary. Your benefits will depend on the disability rating your authorized physician assigns to your injuries.
What Should I Do if I Suffer an Injury While at Work?
If you suffer an injury while working on the job, notify your immediate supervisor. When filing a workers’ compensation claim, all details surrounding the injury must be reported.
If you suspect you have an injury, request to make an appointment with a doctor. After that, all medical expenses related to your work-related injury should be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.
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Who Pays for My Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina?
Some employees hesitate to file workers’ compensation claims. They are worried their claim would cost their employer large sums of money.
In reality, the employer does not pay the workers’ compensation. Those funds come from the employer’s insurance carrier.
Are There Limitations to What Workers’ Compensation Will Cover?
Medical expenses covered by workers’ compensation must first be approved by your employer’s insurance carrier.
A key phrase to understand is “tends to lessen your degree of disability.” This means workers’ compensation will cover medical expenses related to helping you improve your condition.
Unfortunately, there are times when it is difficult to get insurance carriers to sign off on medical care approved by physicians. In these instances, our workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina can help.
How Much Money Do I Get on Workers’ Compensation?
If you are injured and your doctor places you on leave, you are entitled to compensation. Alternatively, if your place of employment cannot make accommodations for your injured condition, you are also entitled to compensation.
Your weekly workers’ compensation payments in South Carolina are equal to approximately two-thirds of your weekly pay (hourly wages or salary) before taxes are withdrawn.
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When Do South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits End?
The term “maximum medical improvement” describes the point when you are not going to improve further with medical treatment. How long this is will depend entirely on your condition, injuries, and the treatment you receive.
Once your have reached this point, your physician will give you an “impairment rating.” Depending on your particular rating, you may be entitled to further compensation.
Different Impairment Ratings
Your impairment rating will determine which of the following benefits categories apply to your claim:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
Typically, your injuries must keep you out of work for seven days before you can start receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If you miss 21 days of work, they can also apply for the first week of missed work, as well. Your impairment rating will also determine how long you can receive a portion of your wages.
What Will It Be Like When I Return to Work?
When you are released to return to work, your employer is required to make “reasonable accommodations” for you. These accommodations include adjustments to your schedule, assigned duties, and work environment. Assuming it is medically possible for the employee to return to work, the employer is required to do everything possible to help the employee re-acclimate to work.
Unfortunately for some clients, they may have to wait years from their injury to reach their “maximum medical improvement” threshold. Another point to remember is that South Carolina does not acknowledge pain or suffering as part of the claim you receive.
What if My Employer Fails to Report My Injury?
When an employer fails to report an employee’s injury, the employee then has the right to follow a personal claim. You can also file a claim in the event your employer denies you suffered an injury while at work. You can file the claim using Form 50 or Form 52. Upon completion, email the forms to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
In the state of South Carolina, you cannot be fired by your employer because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. There are laws in place to protect your right to file for workers’ compensation in the event of workplace injuries.
In South Carolina, companies that fire employees for filing for workers’ compensation are severely penalized. Some employers understand the law but fire employees for filing workers’ compensation claims anyway. They cite the poor performance of the employee and claim they were going to be fired before the injury occurred.
If you feel you were fired by your employer in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, our South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help you.
Do I Get to Choose My Doctor in Workers’ Compensation Cases in South Carolina?
Under the rules of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, you are required to see the doctor chosen by either the insurance carrier or the employer.
If you do not feel you are getting adequate care, the commission recommends contacting it to seek a possible replacement. This request is made by filling out Form WCC Form 50 and submitting it to the commission to ask for a hearing. At the hearing, the commission will determine whether your complaint warrants changing doctors.
It should be noted that being assigned to a doctor far away from your home is not reason enough to have a new doctor assigned to your case. However, under South Carolina law, you are entitled to reimbursement for traveling to doctor visits if the distance is greater than ten miles round trip.
Can I See My Own Doctor for a Second Opinion?
You can indeed see your own physician in addition to the doctor assigned to your case by your employer or its insurance carrier.
Be aware, however, that these expenses incurred by visiting your own doctor will not be reimbursed under your workers’ compensation claim. You would be responsible for these additional charges.
Can I Sue for Additional Compensation in South Carolina?
Were you injured at work because of negligence or carelessness of a third party? For example, if you were injured at work because of the actions of a subcontractor, you may have grounds to bring a civil suit against them.
These kinds of civil suits have advantages over workers’ compensation claims. You can file for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and even loss of quality of life. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, you have to prove the negligence of the third party, though.
Our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Ready To Help
If you feel you were the victim of wrongful termination after filing for workers’ compensation, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm today. We can help you receive the compensation you deserve after being injured on the job.
We can also help in other ways, and you discuss working with our legal team during a free consultation. Contact us today at (800) 313-2546 for a free evaluation of your case.