Your Legal Questions Answered.
Answering Your Questions. Protecting Your Legal Rights.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you probably have many questions. Below are the answers to many questions faced by accident victims in South Carolina. If you do not see the answer to your question, just call our office or email Shelly directly - [email protected].
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What is my employer required to pay if I am involved in a work accident?
If your injury is covered by workers' compensation benefits, your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier must pay the following:
1) Any and all medical expenses related to the injury;
2) Weekly disability benefits checks for all periods you are out of work with written doctor's authorization;
3) A lump sum payment for permanents disabilities and/or lost wages you incurred after your treatment has finished.
I was injured at work, can I sue my employer?
Generally, you cannot sue your employer when you are hurt on the job. Workers' Compensation is the sole remedy for work related injuries. Under workers' compensation, an employer will pay medical expenses and lost wages incurred as well as a lump some if there is a permanent disability in exchange for not being sued.
Some workers can sue their employers for certain intentional acts or harms that may have caused injury to the employee. The employer's act must be intentional, outrageous, and not accidental. When an injury is not considered an accident it is not covered under the Workers' Compensation Act.
Who will send my disability checks?
If your employer employs four or more employees, they are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Their workers' compensation insurance carrier is responsbile for paying your lost wages if you are out of work for more than 7 days. Your disability checks will be sent weekly.
I was released to work by my doctor, but with restrictions of light-duty.Will I still receive weekly checks?
If you return to work light duty, and your wages are less than the amount you normally receive (your average weekly wage), you are entitled to compensation of 2/3's of the difference between your average weekly wage and teh amount you receive while working light-duty. Your checks should continue at this rate until you are released back to work without restrictions, or at maximum medical improvement (MMI).
What is Average Weekly Wage?
Average weekly wage is the injured workers' average gross wages for a week. Average weekly wage is based on the gross amount earned before taxes or deductions. It includes overtime, bonuses and any other benefits received. In South Carolina, the average weekly wage is calculated by taking the total amount you earned during the last fifty-two weeks and dividing this amount of money by the number of weeks you actually worked.
I do construction work and was injured while on the job. My boss is a general contractor and he calls me when he has a job available. I have mounting medical bills from the back in jury I suffered from falling off a ladder. Does my boss have to pay my medical bills?
Yes. In South Carolina, all employers are required to pay for injuries sustained by their employees while on the job. Under the Workers' Compensation Act, sub-contractors are considered employees of the general contractor for whom they are working. If your boss is a general contractor and you were injured on the job, he, or his insurance provider, is required to cover your medical bills. To learn more about your work injury claim, you should contact an experienced workers' compensation law firm. Click here or contact us at 843-277-6061.
Do I have to report my work injury to my employer?
Yes. If you are injured at work, you must report the injury to your employer. You only have 90 days from the date you realize you are injured to report the injury, or you may lose your right to benefits.
If you suffer a serious injury, you could face permanent impairment or work restrictions, so you should contact an experienced workers compensation attorney immediately to discuss your rights. As you may already know, the insurance company represents your employer, not you, and they will certainly look for any reason to reject your claim. If your claim is denied by the insurance company, it is advisable to consult with an attorney. While you may represent yourself and request a claim hearing on your own, be aware that the insurance will hire an attorney, so you should make sure your rights protected by an experienced work injury attorney.
I was injured in a car wreck while on the job and the wreck was not my fault. Do I have a workers' compensation claim?
You may file a workers' compensation claim for your medical treatment and also file a separate claim against the driver of the vehicle that caused your injury. If the workers' compensation carrier pays for your medical treatment and you later recover money from the at fault driver’s insurance company, the workers’ compensation insurance company will have a subrogation claim for reimbursement for the medical bills paid. However, the carrier will often not expect to be reimbursed the full amount they paid for your medical bills. To learn more about your work injury claim, you should contact an experienced workers' compensation law firm. Click here or contact us at 843-277-6061.
I was injured in a work accident, and the doctor released me to work at light duty. Now I am being paid less than I was before I was hurt. What compensation am I entitled to?
If you return to light duty or work part-time during the time you are recovering from your injuries, you are entitled to compensation if your wages are less than what you normally received prior to the worker’s compensation accident. You are entitled to compensation of two-thirds of the difference between your salary before the injury and what you are making while on light duty/part-time duty. You are entitled to this compensation until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Can I be fired from my job for reporting an on the job injury?
No. An employer may not fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. There are specific laws in South Carolina that protect workers from being fired for filing a work injury claim. If you are injured on the job and you are fired because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a claim against your employer for retaliation.