Are you looking for a workers compensation lawyer in Charleston, SC? If you have been injured at work it is important to have a workers comp attorney on your side to guide you through the process. We make sure we maximize your settlement to help you obtain the full benefits provided to you by South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance that most employers are required to carry for their employees for which the employees do not have to contribute. It can provide compensation for medical care and income for employees who are injured while working at the place of their employment. In exchange for the benefits afforded by the Workers’ Compensation insurance, the employee forfeits the right to sue the employer for negligence. It does not cover illness or injury occurring outside the hours of employment or for injuries unrelated to the responsibilities of the employee’s job. It is important for the employee to consult with a qualified professional to determine if and how the injury or illness may be job-related.
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. In the early 20th century, state governments, employers, and employees made made arrangements that required employers to cover the costs of employee work-related injuries and illnesses automatically. In return, employees would give up the right to sue their employers when they got injured. As a result, employees would be entitled to immediate help with their medical bills and receive a portion of their lost wages. Likewise, employers would escape the risk for being sued (in most cases), as long as they carried Workers’ Compensation Insurance for all eligible employees. The State Governments would be served as well as not as many workers with disabling injuries and sicknesses would end up needing the State’s aid.
Did you know that most employees in South Carolina have Workers’ Compensation benefits?
Do I need to be injured at work in order to receive Workers Comp?
Do I need to be injured at work in order to receive Workers Comp?
An employee does not have to get sick or injured at his/her normal workplace in order to qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. It does matter, however, whether the employee was working within the scope of his/her employment when contracting an illness or when sustaining an injury. Situations in which employees may be eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation for injury or illness outside the normal workplace could be while traveling for work, visiting a client, attending a work-related conference, attending a work-related function or event, or even going to the store for work-related purposes.
Are all jobs covered by Workers’ Compensation?
There are certain types of jobs that are not covered by Workers’ Compensation. The workers that may not be covered by traditional Workers’ Compensation are businesses that may have an exemption, such as business owners, corporate executives, LLC partners, volunteers, independent contractors (who are hired to provide a particular expertise), farm workers, domestic servants in a home with fewer than two full-time employees, and employees protected by federal laws (railroad and maritime workers) that are exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance. The Federal Government offers its own Workers’ Compensation Insurance for federal employees, and each individual state has its own Workers’ Compensation Insurance program for state employees.
Every state’s Workers’ Compensation laws contain a set of rules governing the employer’s responsibility to the employee who is harmed while performing job-related duties. Employees should check their State Workers’ Compensation laws governing their employment or contact a qualified professional to inquire about his/her status as it relates to Workers’ Compensation and a possible claim.
Does Workers’ Comp pay full salary?
Workers’ Compensation Insurance pays hospital and medical expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat a workplace injury. It also provides disability payments during the period that the employee is unable to work, usually amounting to about two-thirds of the employee’s regular salary. In addition to recovering medical expenses, lost wages, and disability payments, employees can receive the costs associated with rehabilitation and job retraining. The injured employee has the right to see a doctor and to receive medical treatment for the injury or illness and if a physician releases the employee to return to work, the employee has the right to go back to the job where the injury occurred.
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How soon do I need to report my injury to my employer?
It’s important for an employee to advise his/her employer immediately of any job-related injury or illness so the employer can file a worker’s compensation claim with their insurance carrier. In most states, there are deadlines for both reporting an injury or illness and for filing a claim for benefits. If either of these deadlines is not met, the employee could lose the eligibility to receive any benefits. After reporting an injury or illness to his/her employer, the employee should contact a local work injury lawyer to get started with a claim for benefits.
How long can you stay on Workers’ Comp?
There may be a limit set by the state as to the length of time an injured worker can receive short-term benefits. It can be anywhere between three to seven years. Some states cap income support at 260 weeks (five years) although medical support will continue for an additional two to five years based on the individual employee’s situation. Workers’ Compensation laws in some states stop weekly benefits when the employee reaches the age of 65. However, there is usually no time limit on permanent disability benefits.
Employees who have a serious and permanent disability from a work-related injury or illness may be eligible for a life pension payment from Workers’ Compensation. In many states, the employee does not have to prove the inability to work to be eligible for a Lifetime Workers’ Compensation Pension. In the case of permanent disability it is critical to consult with a qualified legal professional as soon as injury or illness occurs.
Will Workers’ Compensation offer me a settlement?
Although Workers’ Compensation entitles an employee to continued medical care for an injury or illness, the employer or the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company may offer a lump-sum settlement in exchange for the employee’s agreement to refrain from pursuing any further reimbursement for medical costs or other workers’ compensation benefits.
Do all Workers’ Comp cases end in a settlement?
If the injured employee’s Workers’ Compensation claim has been rejected or if the employee is not satisfied with the insurance company’s handling of his/her claim, the employee has the right to file a claim for injury or illness in Workers’ Compensation Court or the State’s Industrial Court (South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission). Only five percent of Workers’ Compensation cases go to trial.
Workers’ Compensation trials are called hearings, which are conducted under the supervision of a judge, who is sometimes called a hearing officer or Commissioner During the hearing, the insurance company and the insurance company’s lawyer will state their case and the employee’s lawyer and sometimes the employee will present the employee’s claim.
How do I calculate my Workers’ Comp rate? Is Workers’ Comp based on gross wages?
Workers’ Compensation settlements are most often calculated by multiplying the employee’s weekly gross wage by fifty-two. This would include any paid vacation the employee would normally receive. This gives the Workers’ Compensation insurance company an estimate of how much will have to be paid per year for wage loss benefits.
How much is the average Workers’ Comp settlement?
While every case is different there are some general statistics we can look at with the understanding that your unique situation relates specifically to the particulars of your circumstance. In many cases the employee’s lawyer may also demand an amount for future medical care as well as any monies due to the employee for overdue temporary disability benefits and unreimbursed medical expenses. A settlement may include an agreement for a structured settlement, providing payments over a period of time instead of a lump sum. According to statistics, seventy-three percent of workers received a settlement or award averaging $21,800. Sixty-eight percent received between $2,000 and $40,000.
With so many different jobs and types of injuries general statistics like these are not very helpful. We are here to help you maximize your settlement to get the help and time you need to recover.