It can be painful and confusing to suffer a work-related injury or illness. However, many legal options may be available to help you get through this difficult time. Jebaily Law Firm can explore those options with you.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, for instance, provides benefits to people who have been injured on the job or who suffer from an occupational disease. These benefits include workers in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, landscaping and all types of jobs. These benefits can cover medical treatment and replace a portion of a worker’s lost wages.
At Jebaily Law Firm, workers’ compensation attorney, Brian S. Yost, has helped disabled workers to get the benefits they deserve for their injuries after work accidents in Florence.
If you or a loved one need the help of an attorney, look no further.
How Can a Florence Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help You?
At Jebaily Law Firm, we believe it is crucial for injured and ill workers in Florence and throughout South Carolina to seek legal assistance.
A lawyer’s guidance and representation is especially important if:
- Your treating physician determines you are not likely to recover to the health you enjoyed before your injury or illness arose.
- You believe you cannot work any job on a daily basis anymore.
- You think you may eventually be able to return to your work but in a different, restricted capacity.
- You had a pre-existing condition when your work injury occurred.
- Your employer denied your benefits claim, or there is some dispute over whether you qualify for benefits.
- You do not believe the benefits you are currently receiving are sufficient.
- Your employer retaliates after you file a workers’ compensation claim.
Jebaily Law Firm knows the workers’ compensation laws in South Carolina inside and out. We also stay on top of new developments and trends in this constantly evolving, complex area of the law. We can put our skill and experience to work for you today.
We can assist you by:
- Making sure you continue to receive proper medical care as your case proceeds
- Filing all forms and other necessary paperwork in a timely and accurate manner
- Gathering and analyzing all of your medical and work records
- Consulting with medical and vocational experts
- Seeking a full and fair settlement of your workers’ compensation claim
- Presenting the strongest case possible on your behalf in hearings or appeals
- Pursuing all other options available to you, including a third-party claim or SSD benefits
- Carefully managing all benefits and damages awards in order to maximize the amount you receive.
Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Florence, South Carolina?
When you contact Jebaily Law Firm, we can help determine whether you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina. The answer will depend on your employment status and how your injury or illness arose.
South Carolina requires any company that employs four or more full-time or part-time workers to carry workers’ compensation insurance (or be self-insured). As a result, most employees in our state are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It does not matter if you are a minor or adult. However, if you are an unpaid volunteer, you would not be covered.
To avoid paying workers’ comp benefits, an employer may argue that you are an “independent contractor” and not an “employee.” However, it does not matter what an employer calls you. Instead, what matters is the degree of control which an employer exercises over you.
For instance, does the employer:
- Pay you directly (cash or check)?
- Direct you to do the work in a particular time frame or in a particular way?
- Provide the equipment required to do the work?
- Have the right to fire you?
If so, you are likely an employee and entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Additionally, if you work for a subcontractor that does not have workers’ comp insurance, you should be covered by the principal contractor’s policy.
Of course, to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must have suffered an injury or illness that arose within the scope and course of your employment.
In other words, you must have been carrying out duties for your employer. Examples include:
- Getting hurt in an accident in the workplace
- Being involved in a motor vehicle crash while carrying out work duties
- Suffering a repetitive trauma injury from operating equipment
- Being exposed to toxic chemicals or other harmful substances in the workplace.
Jebaily Law Firm can conduct a careful review of your case and help you to take the next steps if you are an employee who has suffered a qualifying injury or illness. At Jebaily Law Firm, workers’ compensation attorney, Ronald J. Jebaily, has helped disabled workers to get the benefits they deserve for more than four decades. He is a recipient of the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Educational Association’s “Lifetime Service Award.”
Can Workers’ Compensation Cover Your Lost Wages in South Carolina?
If you cannot do work – or do the same work as you did before your injury or illness – you may be entitled to lost-wage benefits in South Carolina. The types of benefits you can receive will depend on the extent of your disability.
Total Disability Benefits
If your injury has left you completely disabled and unable to do any work, you may be eligible for total disability benefits on a temporary or permanent basis. It is important to understand that a physician that is authorized by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier must confirm that you are unable to work or can only work with physical restrictions as a result of your injury.
The amount you receive would equal 66 and 2/3 percent of the average weekly wage that you earned before your injury – subject to a “maximum weekly compensation rate” that is adjusted each year. (For instance, if your injury occurred in 2016, the maximum weekly amount you could receive would be $784.03.)
You can receive temporary total disability benefits until you are able to return to work or until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you reach MMI, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits.
You can receive total disability benefits after you have been out of work for at least seven days. If your injury keeps you out of work for 14 days or longer, you can receive benefits that cover the wages you lost from the date of your accident.
Total disability benefits cannot be extended beyond 500 weeks. However, if you have suffered substantial brain injury or spinal cord damage resulting in paralysis, you may be eligible for lifetime benefits.
Partial Disability Benefits
If your injury restricts the type of work you can do or the number of hours you can work, you may be eligible to receive partial disability benefits in South Carolina. The amount you receive would equal 66 and 2/3 of the difference between your average weekly wage before your injury and what you earn after your injury.
S.C. Workers’ Compensation Impairment Rating
If your injury leaves you with permanent work restrictions, you may be eligible to receive permanent partial disability benefits. A doctor will give you an “impairment rating” that will help determine the extent of disability benefits you are eligible to receive.
Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer will choose the doctor who makes the impairment rating decision. Typically, this is the physician who has been treating you for your work-related injury. However, in some injury cases, the workers’ compensation insurer will seek an independent medical examination for an additional or alternative rating. You may also want to obtain your own independent medical examination.
If your employer challenges your disability benefits claim or if you disagree with the impairment rating assigned to you, Jebaily Law Firm will protect your rights and fight for the benefits you deserve.