Most of us go to work each day without thinking about the risk of injury and illness we face on the job. Fortunately, when a worker does suffer a work-related injury or illness, South Carolina workers’ compensation laws can provide benefits including payment for medical treatment, wage replacement, and other financial benefits.
Although a worker who is injured or falls ill on the job should be automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, in some cases, a worker’s employer denies liability to pay workers’ comp benefits, or the worker receives fewer benefits than they may be legally entitled to.
If you are facing difficulties in securing workers’ compensation benefits from your employer, contact the Surfside Beach workers’ compensation lawyers of Jebaily Law Firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our talented attorneys are skilled in workers’ comp cases, and we’re ready to fight vigorously for the benefits you need and deserve.
Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the details of your injury or illness and answer any questions you have.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Surfside Beach
When you’ve been injured at work or contracted an illness on the job in Surfside Beach, you may be entitled to various kinds of workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the severity of your injuries and how long you are kept out of work, including:
- Reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- Partial wage replacement for the time you miss from work during your recovery
- Disability benefits, if you are temporarily or permanently disabled from work after your recovery
- Death benefits, if a loved one has passed away due to a work-related injury or occupational illness
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can tell you more about the potential benefits you may be entitled to after suffering a work-related injury or illness.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries in Surfside Beach
Workplace injuries and illnesses have many causes. Some of the most common causes of work-related injuries that our attorneys see in Surfside Beach include:
- Falls from heights, such as ladders, roofs, or scaffolding
- Being struck by falling objects
- Slipping on hazardous surfaces or tripping over objects
- Repetitive physical motions
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Co-workers’ negligence, particularly around tools, equipment, and machinery
No matter how severe your injury appears after an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Sometimes symptoms don’t present themselves until hours or days after the injury occurred. A doctor may be able to identify and treat injuries you’re unaware of at first.
Common Types of Work-Related Injuries
Workers face the risk of a wide variety of injuries, especially in more dangerous professions such as construction or manufacturing. However, even people in “safe” jobs like office work or retail can suffer serious or life-altering injuries on the job.
Some of the most common types of work-related injuries that our workers’ compensation attorneys see include:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries, including strains and tears of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Neck and back injuries, including herniated or ruptured discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In addition to physical trauma, workers also face the risk of contracting diseases and illnesses on the job, including heart conditions, lung disease, lead or mercury poisoning, or mesothelioma.
What Will Workers’ Comp Pay For?
After you’ve been approved for workers’ compensation benefits, you may wonder what exactly the system will pay for. Depending on the severity of your work-related injury or illness and the extent of your recovery and absence from work, you can expect that workers’ comp will pay for expenses such as:
- Payment of reasonable and necessary medical treatments, including transportation to and from medical appointments
- Payment for prescription medications
- Wage replacement in the form of two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum limit, while you are away from work recovering from your injury or illness
- Disability payments, including temporary partial disability benefits, which are paid if you can return to lighter duty work that pays you less income, or permanent disability benefits that are paid if you cannot return to work at all. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference of your average weekly wage and your current earnings for temporary partial disability, or two-thirds of your average weekly wage for permanent disability that is paid for a period of up to 500 weeks. Certain permanent disabilities, such as paralysis or brain damage, may entitle a worker to lifetime disability benefits
- Disfigurement awards for certain visible scars or burns
- Death benefits paid to the family of a deceased worker, including partial wage replacement for up to 500 weeks along with payments towards funeral and burial expenses
When you have suffered long-term or permanent injury or disability, you may also be entitled to secure a lump-sum award of monetary compensation. Let a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney help you understand and determine what kinds and amounts of workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to.
South Carolina Workers’ Comp Laws
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws require most employers who hire more than four full-time or part-time employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance or to be self-insured for workers’ compensation. All employees are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, whether full-time, part-time, or seasonal.
However, certain types of employees are not covered under the state’s workers’ compensation law, such as railroad employees (who are covered by federal law) and agricultural workers. Volunteers or independent contractors also are not covered by workers’ compensation, although some companies may purchase insurance to cover those workers.
The workers’ compensation system in South Carolina is intended to be a “no-fault” system. This means that workers should begin receiving benefits no matter who was at fault for the worker’s injury or illness, so long as the injury or illness is determined to be work-related. However, in exchange for the right to guaranteed, defined benefits for a work-related injury or illness, the worker gives up the right to bring a personal injury claim against the employer.
There are certain exceptions to these rules. A worker who suffers an injury or illness on the job due to their willful or reckless conduct (for example, being intoxicated on the job) may be deemed ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Also, a worker may be entitled to assert a personal injury claim against an employer who willfully caused the worker’s injury or illness (for example, withholding safety or protective equipment as a form of discipline or retribution).
Contact Our Surfside Beach Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
If you have suffered an injury on the job in Surfside Beach and are having trouble securing workers’ compensation or getting the full benefits you believe you are entitled to, you need aggressive, experienced legal representation to advocate for your rights and interests.
Contact the Surfside Beach workers’ comp attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated, knowledgeable lawyers to discuss your case.
Can I File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Yes. However, if you are approved for both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI, the money you receive from SSDI can be reduced if you receive more than 80 percent of your average pre-injury wages from the combination of workers’ comp and SSDI.
Can I Use My Own Health Insurance Instead of Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
You should not use your health insurance policy to get treatment for a work-related injury. Some private health insurance policies expressly exclude coverage for work-related healthcare. If you use your health insurance to get medical care for a work injury, your insurer may have the right to demand reimbursement from your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer.
What Benefits Are Available from the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Program?
Under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation law, you may be entitled to receive benefits that include:
- Medical benefits, including reimbursement for qualifying travel to and from appointments or procedures
- Income replacement benefits, which can make up a portion of your lost income if you cannot work or take a lower-paying job or position
- Death benefits paid to the family of a worker whose death is caused by a work injury
How Much of My Medical Expenses Will Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Medical benefits in South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system are supposed to cover the full cost of all reasonable and necessary treatment and rehabilitation for a work injury or occupational illness.
What Types of Injuries May Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits cover worker-related injuries and occupational illnesses. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an injury must arise out of and in the course of your employment.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina?
Any employee of a covered employer may receive workers’ compensation for a work injury. Covered employers include most employers with four or more employees. Even part-time and seasonal employees are entitled to workers’ compensation.
What If I Can’t Return to Work After My Workers’ Compensation Injury?
You will begin to receive income replacement benefits after missing 8 calendar days of work.
How Long Can It Take to Receive a Check Upon Settlement of a Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you’ve settled your workers’ compensation claim with your employer and its insurer, the funds will be released when the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission approves the settlement. The process typically takes about one to two months, though every case is unique.
How Long Can a Workers’ Compensation Claim Stay Open in SC?
Workers’ compensation benefits can be paid for up to 500 weeks, although payments may continue for the rest of a worker’s life if they sustain permanent, total disability.
If you have been injured at work, reach out to Jebaily Law Firm for a free case review to speak with our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys. Get answers. Get Help.