If you have a case for workers’ compensation in Rock Hill, South Carolina, your claim can end in a number of common ways. The award, or rather your settlement outcome, usually depends on whether you will require future medical care and whether or not you have a permanent injury. Below, we look at the most important points you should be aware of if you have a case or are considering a settlement.
What Primary Benefits Are Awarded in a Case of Workers’ Compensation in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
The most common benefits are:
- Payment of your medical expenses
- Payment of two-thirds of your average weekly wages for the time off from work
- Compensation for permanent injury and future lost income due to the on-the-job injury
If certain parts of your body are permanently injured in a work-related accident, you could be entitled to compensation for a number of weeks, even if you are still able to perform your duties. This is known as “Scheduled” compensation and you do not have to provide proof that your injury has caused you to lose earning capacity. For instance, if you incur a back injury at work, you may be entitled to compensation for a permanent injury to your back, even if you only suffered partial loss of use and you can carry on with your job.
How the Compensation Rate is Calculated
As an employee in South Carolina, you are entitled to compensation that is two-thirds of your average weekly wage and is based of the four quarters before your injury. However, you are not entitled to any more than the maximum average weekly wage that is determined by the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Medical Treatment You May Be Entitled To
Employees are entitled to all the necessary medical treatment that can lessen their disability. Workers’ compensation in Rock Hill, South Carolina usually covers hospitalization, prosthetic devices, surgery, medical supplies, and medical prescriptions. To receive the benefits, though, you are compelled to see a doctor that is chosen by your employer or his or her insurance representative. If you do not accept the treatment provided by your employer’s chosen physicians, you risk losing the right to receive compensation for your injury.
If you are not satisfied with the medical professional to whom the insurance carrier refers you, you are permitted to approach the insurance carrier to determine if they will allow you to get a second opinion from another doctor. Alternatively, you can request a hearing so that a Commissioner can make a determination on a second opinion.
If the doctor releases you on light duty, you are compelled to accept the light work, or you may not receive compensation. If you have reason to believe that you cannot do the assigned work, you can request a hearing.
Should the physician allow you to return to work with an impairment rating, or if you have a non-surgical scar, the insurance carrier may request an informal conference where you can meet with a commission representative and the insurance provider to determine how much compensation you should receive.
You can seek reimbursement for your travel expenses to and from the doctor, provided the round-trip is more than ten miles from your house.
Compensation for Time Off Work
It must be noted that there is a seven-day waiting period before your benefits are paid. If you are off work for more than that, your employer’s insurance representative must pay your workers’ compensation in Rock Hill, S.C. If you are out of work for more than two weeks, you will receive compensation for those first seven days. Payments will be made to you directly and must continue until the doctor allows you to return to your job.
Employers in South Carolina are required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they regularly employ four or more staff.
When Are Benefits Terminated?
Once the physician gives you the all-clear to return to work, be it with or without restrictions, within 150 days of receiving notification of the incident, you will receive two copies of Form 15 with Section II filled in that indicates that compensation has been terminated, along with the reasons thereof.
If the insurance provider ceases your benefits and you do not agree, you can complete Section III of the form and send it to the Commission’s Judicial Department to request a hearing which must be held within 60 days.
Hearings are usually conducted by commissioners to resolve any disputes between you and your employer or his or her representative. You can apply for a hearing in a number of instances, such as if your employer denies your injury, fails to report the workplace accident, or you believe that you haven’t received all your benefits.
Can You Sue Your Employer If You Are Injured at Work?
If you are hurt while on the job, workers’ compensation in Rock Hill, S.C. is your remedy. Under most circumstances, though, you cannot sue your employer for on-the-job injuries. But, if someone else, such as a driver of a vehicle not belonging to the company or the manufacturer of a defective machine, is responsible for your injuries, you are entitled to sue the third party and file for workers’ compensation benefits. Be aware, though, that if you attempt to recover against a third party, the law requires that the workers’ compensation insurance company be paid back for any benefits you receive.
How Can You Cover Attorney’s Fees?
Most attorneys who deal with workers’ compensation in Rock Hill, South Carolina, charge a contingent fee which is worked out as a percentage of, and paid from, your settlement or award. The fees have to be approved by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Talk to An Experienced SC Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you have a workers’ compensation case and require advice, talk to one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Elrod Pope. We specialize in workers’ compensation, personal injury, and related cases in South Carolina. Book a consultation today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.