SPEAK DIRECTLY WITH AN ATTORNEY NOW! (843) 900-1306

Blog

How Does Workers' Compensation Work In South Carolina? The Nuts and Bolts

Posted by Jay McMillian | Dec 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

CHARLESTON AND SUMMERVILLE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ATTORNEY PROVIDING PASSIONATE ADVOCACY FOR INJURED WORKERS

As part of my personal injury practice, The McMillian Law Firm represents injured workers of the Low Country in South Carolina Workers' Compensation claims. Workers' Compensation law is very complex and techincal. It is reliant upon forms, reports, and strict deadlines. It is a maze of legalese and time sensitive landmines that require the services of a capable attorney if an injured party is to navigate this process and achieve a just outcome. What Is The Purpose Of Workers' Compensation Insurance?

The McMillian Law Firm is known for compassionate and effective legal representation. Call us now at (843) 900-1306 or use the online form to schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation today.

THE BASIS OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION

The Foundation of Workers' Compensation Law was established by the State of South Carolina in 1935. The Workers' Compensation Act instituted a separate statutory and regulatory scheme to specifically address injuries suffered by employees and the job. The system is in essence a "no-fault" system. In other words, it allows workers who suffer a work related injury, that is otherwise not a result of any negligence by the employer, to recover medical benefits and lost wages.

Workers' Compensation is required by law when an employer has a certain number of employees as established by statute. Workers' Compensation insurance provides that injured workers have a "safety net" to account for lost wages and medical costs while protecting employers from the threat of endless lawsuits with each workplace injury. Employers pay premiums for access to a Workers' Compensation insurer, who in theory, are there to accept claims and adjudicate the claims and dispense benefits when appropriate. 

WHAT TYPES OF BENEFITS MAY I RECEIVE UNDER WORKERS' COMPENSATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA?

In Addition To Payment For All Medical Treatments (Doctor Visits, Surgeries, Prescriptions, etc.) Workers' Compensation will also include:

  • Temporary Benefits -
    • South Carolina allows for the payment of temporary total disability benefits for lost wages. The injured worker must be out of work at least 7 days in order to claim the temporary benefit. if the worker misses more than 14 days of work, the benefits may also be paid for the first 7 days. 
    • Temporary total disability benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but are capped at a maximum allowable payment by statute. For 2017, the maximum benefit in South Carolina is $806.92 per week. Temporary total benefits are paid until you reach maximum medical improvement (you can not improve your physical condition any further) or until you're able return to your normal job.
    • Temporary partial disability benefits are paid when you are able to return to work but at a limited capacity and / or in a reduced duty. The  benefit pays two-thirds of the difference between your wages before the injury and what you're new wage is after your injury.

For example, your pre-injury paycheck is $1000, but after the injury you are assigned to work a light-duty job earning $400 per week. The benefit would pay out two-thirds of $600 ($1000 - $400), or $400 per week. Temporary partial benefits are paid for a maximum of 340 weeks.

  • Permanent Disability
    • Once your doctor has determined that you have achieved maximum medical improvement (end of medical treatment), the doctor will then examine you to see if there is any permanent disability. If the doctor determines that you are permanently and totally disabled, you will continue to receive weekly payments at the same rate as your temporary total disability benefits.
    • Permanent disabilities are the most severe injuries. These injuries would include such as amputation of limbs, blindness, or a combination of any two of these body parts. Under Workers' Compensation law, benefits are paid for a maximum of 500 weeks. It is important to note that for paralysis and brain damage, benefits can be awarded for life.
  • Mileage reimbursement -
    • All mileage that is accrued by the injured party traveling to and from medical appointments related to the Workers' Compensation claim is reimbursed.
  • Vocational rehabilitation -
    • An injured worker who can not return to his/her original work duties can have the cost of new job training and re-education paid as well through Workers' Compensation.
  • Death Benefits -
    • An injured worker's spouse and/or dependents can receive death benefits when the worker dies as a result of a work injury.The amount depends on the family size (number of dependents). The death benefit would also include up to $2,500.00 for burial / final expenses. 

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY CHARLESTON AND SUMMERVILLE WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM?

The short honest answer here is . . . OF COURSE YOU DO! Did you know that you have to report the injury to your employer within 90 days of the date of the injury to be eligible for Workers' Compensation? Did you also know that you have to file your insurance claim with your employer's insurer within 2 years of the date of the injury? These are just a few of the many deadlines that must be met inside of a Workers' Compensation claim. Did you know that you could damage your benefit award by not attending medical appointments? Plus, remember, once you file a claim, you are no longer dealing with you employer . . . YOU ARE DEALING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY! Their job is to process claims on the cheap and make a profit. Please do not attempt to navigate this system alone . . . 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB?

The first, and most important, step is that you report the injury promptly to the employer or an immediate supervisor. At this point, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel to aid in your navigation through the Workers' Compensation system. You have legal rights under the Workers' Compensation system that must be protected immediately. If you attempted to file a claim without an attorney and the claim was denied, you have the legal right to appeal.

THE MCMILLIAN LAW FIRM - CHARLESTON AND SUMMERVILLE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ATTORNEY

As a Workers' Compensation lawyer in my solo practice, I will take all necessary steps to protect your rights and work to secure compensation for your injuries as a victim of a work related injury. Being a small firm allows you to have direct access to your lawyer during this entire process, with open lines of communication as we work together towards a viable solution to your specific case. 

Being an experienced personal injury attorney, I have experience dealing with insurance companies. I also know where the courthouse is and will not be afraid to call the insurance company to the mat in front of a judge and jury if necessary.

If you or a loved one has been injured at work in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, James Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, or any of the other fine communities of the Low Country, and need to meet with a Workers' Compensation lawyer, please contact me to set up your free case evaluation today. Let me help prevent you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company. I am serious and I am here for you! Contact The McMillian Law Firm today @ 843-900-1306

About the Author

Jay McMillian

Background I chose to build my law practice in the areas of Car Accident and Personal Injury because these areas of the law are the most accurate reflection of my values and my upbringing. Being the son of a breakfast hostess and a retired US Army Sargent turned construction worker, the values instilled upon me by my par...

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

The McMillian Law Firm

Bio headshot

Attorney Jay McMillian operates a solo practice with an emphasis on two core principles. First, to provide competent legal advice in the areas of Auto Accident and Personal Injury Law to the people he is proudest to serve, the people of the South Carolina Low Country. Second, to provide the most personal and intimate service to each and every client and give them the attention and compassion that they deserve while going through the stress and strain of negotiating or litigating an injury claim. If you live in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, James Island, Walterboro, Moncks Corner, and you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another, please call Jay at The McMillian Law Firm today.

Menu