Being injured while at work has the potential to quickly become expensive. Along with facing a pile of medical bills, you may be forced to take a leave of absence from your job and find it hard, if not impossible, to earn the money you need to meet your expenses. While most injured workers in South Carolina could receive wage and medical benefits as they recover, claiming benefits could be a daunting process to anyone who is not familiar with the state workers’ compensation system.
One of the first calls you make in the days after a workplace accident should be to a Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer. A personal injury attorney should be able to help you cut through the confusing maze of rules and regulations and file a claim for the benefits the law entitles you to. It is important that you act fast, though, as South Carolina law – specifically S.C. Code § 42-15-20(B) – requires anyone hurt at work to provide notice of the accident to their employer within 90 days.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Explained
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to efficiently provide wage replacement and medical benefits to injured employees so that they may quickly recuperate and return to work and earn a living. Depending on the injury sustained, a Lexington workers’ compensation attorney may pursue any or all of the following types of benefits on a client’s behalf:
Income benefits could be subdivided into temporary total disability (TTD), permanent partial disability (PPD), and permanent total disability (PTD) – all amounting to two-thirds of a claimant’s gross weekly wage. TTD is paid to those who must stop all work as they recover, while PPD and TTD are paid to those who have sustained a partial or permanent bodily injury, respectively.
Almost any injury that is sustained during the course of one’s employment is covered by the South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. This includes repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and degenerative disc disease, as well as some psychiatric injuries. A Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer could pursue benefits covering all necessary and reasonable medical treatment.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
A work injury could prevent someone from returning to an occupation for which they have developed a specific skillset. As such, state workers’ comp law allows for the provision of vocational rehabilitation benefits, including educational and training opportunities.
Benefits could be paid to the surviving spouse or children of an employee who was killed in a workplace accident.
Who is Entitled to Benefits?
Workers’ compensation is an effective means of quickly getting benefits to those who are injured at their place of employment. It is important to realize, though, that not all workers are covered.
In South Carolina, workers’ compensation is not available to:
- Agricultural workers
- Casual or temporary employees
- Railroad company employees
- Federal government employees working in South Carolina (who are covered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act)
- Corporate officers
- Workers at businesses with fewer than four employees
- Some realtors
Anyone hurt on the job who is uncertain as to whether they qualify for workers’ compensation benefits is encouraged to speak with a Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer and explore what other options might be available to them.
Contact a Lexington Workers’ Compensation Attorney for More Information
If you have been hurt at work – don’t despair. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. Contact a Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer to see whether they could provide you help throughout the claim process.