Workers in hospitals and medical offices perform some of the most important jobs in Charleston. Unfortunately, these same workers that work so hard for the health and well-being of others are at risk of suffering from many types of injuries and illnesses on the job.
If you work in the healthcare industry and have been hurt at work, you may want to consider getting legal advice from a seasoned workplace safety lawyer. A qualified attorney with a strong understanding of Charleston workplace safety in hospitals and medical offices could advise you about your legal rights following a workplace injury.
What to Do Following a Work-Related Injury in a Healthcare Facility
Injured healthcare workers in Charleston have the right to seek compensation relating to any injury or illness they experience on the job. In many situations, this may involve bringing a claim under Title 42 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. This section of the law establishes the state’s workers’ compensation system, which provides benefits and compensation to workers for injuries or occupational conditions incurred within the scope of employment.
The first thing that an employee should do following an injury or learning of an occupational illness is to report the incident to their employer. South Carolina Code §42-15-20 states that this must be done within 90 days or as soon as realistically possible. After receiving a report, the employer must contact the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, which oversees the workers’ compensation system for the state.
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Include?
Workers’ compensation applies to employment related injuries no matter who was at fault. Even if an employee caused their own injury, they will be subject to workers’ compensation.
In a typical case, workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Medical treatment and physical therapy
- Payment based on wages for temporary disability
- Compensation for permanent disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Mileage reimbursement
- Death benefits and funeral expenses in the event of a fatality
Benefits under workers’ compensation do not include compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages, both of which may be recoverable in a personal injury case. Since disability payments are also based on partial payment of average weekly wages and are subject to a maximum weekly benefit, which was $838.21 in 2018, workers’ compensation claimants cannot recover their full lost wages.
In light of these limitations, a knowledgeable attorney could carefully examine the facts of a case to determine whether other parties may be liable to the injured victim. In such cases, an injured person in Charleston may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking additional compensation.
Occupational Safety and Health Standards in Healthcare Facilities
As a companion to workers’ compensation laws, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides certain protections to workers in hospitals and medical offices. OSHA establishes health and safety and training standards to minimize or eliminate workplace hazards.
Under OSHA, an employee could file a complaint asking for a workplace inspection when they believe there is a hazard present or that the employer is not complying with the law. OSHA also prohibits retaliation against employees who file complaints. A seasoned lawyer could advise plaintiffs about their rights under OSHA and other relevant laws when a violation compromises workplace safety in hospitals and medical offices in Charleston.
Getting Help with Workplace Safety Issues in Charleston Medical Offices and Hospitals
If you work in the healthcare field in Charleston and suffered an injury on the job, you should consider getting professional advice from a lawyer experienced in handling workplace injury cases. A qualified attorney could evaluate your case, advise you about your legal options, and assist with filing for workers’ compensation benefits or other legal relief.
Throughout their representation, your legal counsel’s goal could be advocate for your interests and help you seek the best result the law allows. Call today to learn more about the help available to you with maintaining workplace safety in Charleston hospitals and medical offices.