Were you involved in an accident in the workplace in Lake Wylie, SC? The attorneys at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at (803) 902-3608 for legal help.
South Carolina workers’ compensation insurance coverage is available to help any South Carolina workers harmed on a jobsite by allotting funds necessary to cover lost wages and cover healthcare costs. Don’t wait to get in touch with an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer should you happen to be hurt at your workplace and have question about your rights.
At nearly any job, a workplace injuries can take place devoid of the need of notice. Clerical or office work present some dangers, but one can discover other occupations that present a greater likelihood of injury.
Workers’ Compensation: Occupations with the Greatest Rate of Injury
The rate of nearly four per one hundred thousand full-time workers died whilst working in 2014 alone. Typically, almost one hundred deaths per week or 13 deaths daily. To access these facts, analysis the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) web page. There is the fact that you can find certain kinds of jobs with a significantly higher risk for injury.
The below list of jobs in South Carolina recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014 with the greatest number of injuries that aren’t fatal:
- Excavation of raw material;
- Forestry management;
- Oil and gas withdrawal;
- Mass production;
- Transferring of material;
- Distribution trade;
However, Jobs based in scientific, economic, managerial, information services, and real estate fields have the lowest possibility of on-job injury; however, the risk is still present. Even with reduced possibility in these fields of employment, an injury like falling down stairs, slippery surfaces, carpal tunnel, or physical assault may still happen. In 2014, twenty percent of all deaths were people in construction. Workers being trapped in machines, electrocuted, being struck by objects, and falls were largest causes of deaths on construction jobsites.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Coverage Work?
No fault insurance coverage is what makes Workers’ compensation different than other kinds of coverage. That means that in the event you work in South Carolina and you get harmed on the job, in any way, you will be able to collect Workers’ Compensation, if your employer has coverage. The worker that is injured because of their own actions is even eligible to file a claim. The burden of showing evidence as to fault of the injury does not rest on the injured worker. Workers’ compensation insurance coverage provides the employer protection from a direct lawsuit, concurrently lifting the duty of the employee providing evidence of the fault.
Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance in South Carolina?
Virtually each worker in South Carolina is covered by workers’ compensation insurance coverage simply since employers are probably expected to carry it. You will find that there exists only a handful of requirements that will not demand workers’ compensation coverage, like that of an employer that has four or fewer workers employed. Also, the job field which you perform could be exempt like that of workers employed for work on the railroad systems or agricultural workers.
There is not an exemption employers, mostly, because employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation for workers. Workers’ compensation will, however, only cover those workers, not contractors or subcontractors. When dealing with workers’ compensation, it is vital that the difference between the two be understood. It is possible that an employer tries to label his or her worker as being a subcontractor instead of an employee, to avoid paying the workers’ compensation insurance. If an agreement has been signed, a schedule is made for you by an employer, or you are paid on an hourly basis, you are classified as being an employee. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer today if you think you are being listed as a contractor when you are an employee.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Wages for time lost at work and healthcare are the primary benefits provided to an employee covered by workers’ compensation insurance. It is critical to obtain all healthcare that is associated with the injury you have sustained on the job. This consists fully of:
- Healthcare visits;
- Pharmaceutical prescriptions;
- Healthcare procedures;
- Healthcare items;
- Reconstructive surgery or devices.
Together with healthcare, you could possibly be entitled to recover compensation for the time you lost on the job and any money you may have made had the injury not occurred. This amount is normally calculated at sixty-six percent of your average pay for a week of work before you were harmed. If a person died, benefits are also included for the deceased worker’s family. The workers’ compensation benefits will be stopped after the worker has returned to work at the rate of pay received before the injury.
There are, however, situations where the worker has been injured so severely that it is not possible for them to return to their job. This also include the enjoyment of life the worker had prior to the injury. Should an injury like this take place, the worker is given benefits for the remainder of their lifetime including injuries to the brain or spinal cord injuries.
The Distinction Between Third-Party Liability Claims and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
Previously, it was stated that workers’ compensation insurance coverage provides the employee coverage without the establishing of fault, and, in addition eliminates the possibility of a direct claim filed on the employer. If an injury was caused by a third party, the victim can also seek the recovery of damages from that party. The injured party cannot file at the fault of the employer, but the injured person can make a claim for workers’ compensation and a claim against a third party simultaneously. The distinctions are as follows:
- In a third-party lawsuit, the other person is filed against for fault of the accident while claims for workers’ compensation are filed against the insurance companies involved;
- The worker that has been injured is responsible for showing that the third party caused the injury
- The costs of healthcare as well wages lost from missing time at work can be covered by the lawsuit against the third party.
- A lawsuit against a third party can be filed by contractors and subcontractors, not just employees. If negligence has occurred, it is the right of anyone to file a claim.
The thing that makes third-party lawsuits different is that the injured party must establish the fault of the injury as being caused by the third party:
- The manufacturer of a defective product;
- A driver or bystander that is discovered to have been negligent;
- The seller of a product; or
- The owner of a property that has acted negligently.
To obtain additional details concerning facts of either claim, or the advantages that are included with filing with either claim, speak to a lawyer. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide support in the navigation of your case and claim. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will help in establishing advantages you could receive from filing your claim.
Injuries vs Occupational Illnesses and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
Fractured bones, cuts, along with other physical injuries are given coverage with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Occupational illnesses ailments are also covered if they occurred or pertain to the job wherein the injury originally occurred.
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws on Workers’ Compensation, Title 42 says that a “disease arising out of and within the course of the job and occurred as a direct result of dangers that took place in the ordinary procession of the workday within the worker is involved” is considered to be a factual definition of a disease considered occupational in nature. For example, a builder in the field of construction could be qualified for advantages from workers’ compensation if the builder was regularly working with asbestos, which causes the cancer, mesothelioma. Because of their employment, a worker employee may well develop or fall sick with these typical occupational illnesses:
- Skin conditions;
- Musculoskeletal aggravations;
- Specific cancers;
- Asbestos-related illnesses;
- Carpal tunnel;
- Respiratory ailments or complications; and
- Blindness or Deafness.
Issues of a psychological nature have, if decided to be caused by employment, allow for a more meager spot in workers’ compensation claims. Psychological issues are considered connected to a workers’ compensation claim if they follow the same standards as any of the occupational ailments listed.
Mental illnesses, mental injuries, and mental strain which is concerning the employment within which the worker was engaged are not connected to harm occurring physically, as is stated in South Carolina Code, but are offered coverage if the following terms are met:
- The leading factors of the mental condition are apparent medically as being a hazard of the jobsite;
- Standard employer-employee relations were not an outcome of tension or mental disabilities; and
- The employer or jobsite condition that brought on the mental tension was excessive in nature or otherwise unreasonable.
Reporting a Workplace Injury
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation insurance advantages must be done in a timely manner. It is critical to your case.
A claim is best if filed immediately if you have been harmed on the jobsite; however, should you not be able to do so for whatever reason, you have exactly ninety days to get the claim filed. If you do not get the claim filed within this allotted time frame, you will greatly decrease the likelihood of receiving benefits. At this juncture, you will be entirely responsible for the cost you incur medically.
Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims
Acting immediately is a critical part of filing a claim. Tell your employer about your injuries as soon as is possible and without delay. You are given ninety days to file your claim, but getting it in quickly is the best thing to do. After you has informed you employer of the injury, it is your employer’s right to pursue the following steps. Being aware of what medical treatments you have received is the first step and the second is letting the insurer of the workers’ compensation insurance there has been an injury. From this step, the insurer will inform Workers’ Compensation of the claim.
Although, you have told your employer of your injury, make sure you check on the claim. If your employer has not report the accident or injury, you will need to ensure your claim was filed as it is you that is accountable for the filing of the claim. You will need to file either Form 50 for injuries covered medically or Form 52 if a death has occurred. Your employer must be informed of your injury within the ninety-day period; however, you have two years to file workers’ compensation claims. The same goes for the family members of a worker that has been killed on the job. Claim appeals similarly have deadline that must be met if the claim is denied.
The code section 15-3-530 in South Carolina law says that the deadline on a third-party claim of liability is three years from the date of the injury, meaning that even if you have filed workers’ compensation, you will only have three years to determine if the injuries you have received will impact you now or in the immediate future. If this has happened to you, do not waste time. Retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Filing a claim can be difficult and with the strictness concerning the statute of limitations, there is not much time to wait. It will take valuable time to prepare your case and hesitation could result in you not being able to receive the advantages of workers’ compensation insurance needed to get back on your feet and cover the costs attached to healthcare.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation in the State of South Carolina
No matter what happens, the responsibility of filing a claim is yours. The steps for doing so in South Carolina are as follows:
- Reporting the injury. If you have been injured, it is best to file your claim as soon as possible. You will have ninety days to tell your employer about the injury, but do not wait.
- Make sure the employer has informed the insurer of the injury. It is your employer’s obligation legally to fill out a First Report of Injury or Illness. If this is not done by your employer, the right becomes legally yours to see that it is filed.
- File the proper form with Workers’ Compensation Commission. Should your employer decide not to file the injury claim, the responsible is yours to complete. A Form 50 is needed to be completed for this situation or should the claim involve a death, a Form 52. If you are not requesting a hearing on your case, make sure you indicate that by checking the box on either form.
- Request a hearing for workers’ compensation. If your employer makes the decision to deny your claim, do not let this stop you. The next thing you need to do is request that your claim be given a hearing with the Commission for Workers’ Compensation. If for any reason, you think that your rights have been violated or that the healthcare professional assigned to you has left you dissatisfied, request that a hearing be had on behalf of your case. This will give you the chance to present the evidence in your case with a commissioner for the board delivering a decision. However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can tell you much more about this process and what is necessary for completing it.
- File an appeal. Should the decision made by the commissioner on your workers’ compensation claim not be satisfactory, you have the right to appeal the decision. The next step necessary will be filing a Form 30-Request for Commission Review within fourteen days of receiving the results of the hearing. If this is not done, your ability to receive the benefits of workers’ compensation insurance.
Contact a Dedicated, Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Lake Wylie
If there are any part of the process you do not understand or you have inquiries about what you should do, as soon as is possible, you will need to reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can explain the process of filing a claim as well as protect your rights to benefits. To have a workers’ compensation attorney evaluate your case today, call to schedule a free consultation.