Road workers in Charleston and throughout South Carolina keep the streets well-maintained and safe. Even during times of low traffic volume, though, these jobs still carry the potential for injury.
Most employees who are hurt on the job has the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits, including road workers. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, workers may have different procedures to collect compensation. If their injuries are caused by a negligent driver, for instance, they have the option to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that driver.
A Port of Charleston road workers injury lawyer could work with you if you were injured on the job during road work. Specifically, an accomplished attorney could help you fight back against aggressive insurance companies to obtain the benefits you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
South Carolina laws state that almost all employers with at least four employees must obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy that provides benefits to workers injured on the job. In exchange, employers cannot be sued for injuries that happen while at work. These laws apply to most road workers in the Port of Charleston who do not work as independent contractors.
Generally speaking, the law is not concerned with how the injury occurs or who was specifically at fault for it. As long as the injury happened during the normal course of employment, the injury should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Some potential exceptions include injuries caused by horseplay or injuries that happen during a commute to work.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurers often attempt to pay out as little money as possible for claims. It is not uncommon for insurers to deny claims entirely, or to argue that the injury is not as severe as the worker claims.
All employees have the right to appeal decisions made by insurers to a commissioner nominated by South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission. An experienced Port of Charleston road workers injury lawyer could assist employees who need assistance filing and arguing cases before the Commission to seek greater compensation.
Other Routes for Compensation
In rare instances, road workers hurt on the job may also have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. This most typically occurs when the injury is suffered as the result of a car accident. While road workers assume a certain amount of risk when they take the job, this does not override the duty of all drivers to look out for other people they may encounter on the road.
Workers injured by negligent drivers can sue that driver for damages, but this lawsuit must take into account payments received for workers’ compensation. In a personal injury suit, the at-fault party is typically responsible for all damages caused to the plaintiff. In this instance, however, some of those damages may be absorbed by workers’ compensation.
For example, workers’ compensation would always pay for all medical costs associated with an injury. It would also pay a worker two-thirds of their average weekly wage for all time missed at work and compensate for any permanent disability.
However, these payments would likely not bring a worker to the economic state they were in while working since all combined compensation would typically be less than their former salary. As such, a skilled attorney could help the injured individual file a lawsuit against the driver for negligence.
Port of Charleston Road Workers Injury Attorneys Could Help
Any instance of an injury that happens on the job could be grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. However, many employers and insurance companies resist paying claims to workers at their full value. Furthermore, when injuries are caused by a negligent driver, a road worker may file a personal lawsuit for damages even if they are collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
A Port of Charleston road workers injury lawyer could represent injured individuals in their appeals on workers’ compensation claims. Contact a local attorney today to learn your options and start working towards a positive outcome for this unfortunate turn of events.