Dynamics of Charleston Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In order to obtain appropriate coverage for workers’ compensation benefits in Charleston, injured individuals must give the proper notice. The claim must be accepted with proper medical evidence in order to prove a compensable case. There must be an expert medical opinion that the injuries were caused by the work accident. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help a potential client develop that evidence.

The dynamics of Charleston workers compensation benefits need to be developed with a clear medical opinion as to whether the individual is on light duty, no duty or full work duty. The lawyer can help identify the type of expert or experts needed to treat various medical conditions or body parts.

Impact of Compensation on Future Needs

In the event that the individual is injured and they need future medical treatment or they are found to be totally and permanently disabled under the act, they are entitled to lifetime future medical care and treatment. In order to get the appropriate lifetime medical care and treatment, an attorney should meet with the doctors and review the different dynamics of Charleston workers compensation benefits and treatments that are going to be needed in the individual’s future.

Many times, the individual is unable to return to work and suffers complete wage loss or partial wage loss. In either of those events, their future needs are going to be significant. Attorneys should seek the medical legal opinion to prove that their potential client will not be able to work through work restrictions, Function Capacity Evaluation, vocational expert opinion and so forth to help prove the extent of the claimant’s disability. The injured worker should seek all future money and medical benefits that they are entitled to under the Act.

Defining Light Duty

It would be inconsistent to file for unemployment benefits if someone who cannot work is filing for workers’ compensation. Unemployment benefits mean the individual must certify that they are able to work but the employer’s not offering work. As long as the injured worker is able to represent on the application for unemployment benefits that they are able to work in a limited capacity, they may benefit from both systems. Either an injured worker has been returned to work by the authorized treating physician and they can work full duty. It is possible to be taken completely out of work and the Workers’ Compensation Act is the proper place to provide the benefits because employment benefits require that the injured worker is able to work.

Only in the light duty scenario is the potential to apply for unemployment. The employer often provides work within those light duty restrictions and there may be no need to seek an unemployment benefits claim or temporary total disability benefits under the Workers’ Comp Act. Some decide to only take advantage of temporary total disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Role of an Individual’s Average Weekly Wage

To determine the Average Weekly Wage, the insurance carrier reviews the earning in the 52 weeks prior to the work accident and divides those earnings by 52 weeks. That yields the Average Weekly Wage and two-thirds of that Average Weekly Wage is the Compensation Rate that the injured worker is entitled to receive for those weekly temporary total or permanent Total Disability Benefit.

Many times, the insurance company will get their wage calculations wrong by not including certain bonuses, per diems, other benefits containing royalties, vacation holiday pay or other things that really need to be included in the equation. An experienced lawyer can send a subpoena for the data and information that needs to be reviewed to make sure the insurance company is being honest about the Average Weekly Wage and compensation rate. It is important to hire an attorney who understands the dynamics of Charleston workers compensation benefits and how to plan for your future.


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