Heavy machinery and equipment are used across numerous industries and occupations. Equipment could be a great resource for increasing production, but sometimes poses dangers to workers.
If you suffered a workplace injury that resulted from equipment, you might benefit from legal assistance. An experienced personal injury attorney near you could help guide you through the often complicated process of seeking workers’ compensation and even legal recovery if appropriate. A Columbia equipment injuries lawyer could review your case today.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation
Some occupations require their employees to use some form of equipment to carry out their daily tasks. Most warehouse workers, for example, are required to use power tools, forklifts, and other heavy machinery. As a result, it is common for workers to experience serious injury from using equipment at work. Sometimes these injuries are caused by unfortunate accidents, equipment malfunctions, or the negligent operation of the equipment.
When an employee agrees to work for an employer who provides workers’ compensation insurance, the employee waives the right to sue the employer for work-related injuries. An employee is only able to circumnavigate workers’ compensation and file a lawsuit against their employer under limited circumstances, such as when the employer intentionally harms the employee. Most occupations are covered under workers’ compensation, but the following are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation in South Carolina:
- Federal employees
- Railroad workers
- Agricultural workers
- Small business employees with less than four workers
The Filing Process
Workers suffering from equipment injuries in Columbia should notify their employer as soon as possible. Employees have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim according to South Carolina Code §42-15-4. But failure to file an injury report with an employer within 90 days could risk losing the right to receive benefits. Additionally, an employer has ten days after receiving notice to report an employee’s injury to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, which is located in Columbia.
If an employer fails to file a report, or if an employee feels they are entitled to more benefits, employee’s may file their own workers’ compensation claim directly with the Commission. The Commission then holds a hearing to decide whether to accept or deny an employee’s workers’ compensation claim. If denied, an employee may appeal the decision.
Disability Benefits for Equipment Injuries in Columbia
Columbia employees suffering from equipment injuries and seeking disability benefits may receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and disability benefits. Employers or the insurance company could pay for all reasonable medical expenses related to the workplace injury.
To qualify for lost wages, an employee must have been unable to work for at least seven days. Employees may also receive permanent partial, permanent total, and temporary total disability benefits. Permanent partial disability refers to injuries that cause partial loss or impairment to a bodily function. Permanent total disability occurs when someone loses both hands, feet, arms, legs, vision, or any combination, which results in permanent disability.
Consult a Columbia Equipment Injuries Attorney Today
Equipment injuries are common, and you are not the only one suffering through a work-related injury. You might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or even legal recovery. A Columbia equipment injuries lawyer could help you discern what options are available moving forward. To learn more about your potential recovery, schedule a consultation, call now.