How Do Workers’ Compensation Programs Work in Chester, South Carolina?

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Most workers in Chester, South Carolina, are insured through South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation insurance program. The insurance coverage is provided by employers and is a legal requirement, which they are expected to fulfill as long as they employ four or more persons. Worker’s Compensation Insurance ensures that anyone who gets injured at work will be able to recover their wages and cost of medical bills that occur as a result of a work-related injury.

Jobs at High Risk for Workplace Injuries in Chester, South Carolina

Injuries can occur with almost every type of job, and in many cases, the injuries occur suddenly. The types of injuries can vary, but there are some occupations that are at a much higher risk of injury than others. Each year, there are thousands of work-related injuries in Chester, South Carolina, but the severity does vary.

Occupations associated with very high non-fatal work-related injuries include the following:

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  • Working in the forestry sector
  • Construction work that involves excavations
  • Working with raw materials like oil and gas
  • Working in industry with mass production
  • Jobs related to conveyance
  • Outdoor architecture and buildings
  • Working with heavy metal equipment
  • Participating in wellness and sports programs

Occupations associated with a very low risk of injuries include the following:

  • Office administration and secretarial work
  • Financial management
  • IT services
  • Real estate
  • Teachers

However, even with these low-risk jobs, there is always a risk of slip and falls or the risk of developing an overuse injury from repetitive tasks. Lifting heavy equipment or being hit by objects at work is quite common in some trades.

How can I get workers’ compensation coverage in Chester, South Carolina?

South Carolina is a no-fault state, which means that if you work for a company that employees four or more persons in South Carolina and get injured while at work, you will be covered under the Workers’ Compensation insurance. The only exception is for injuries that are in no way connected to the workplace or job duties or caused by intoxication. If the injury is work-related, the injured employee does not have to provide proof as to who caused the injury. The injured worker will likely be covered either way.

Carrying workers’ compensation is beneficial for both workers and employees. For workers, this program ensures financial protection, and for employers, the system protects them from any unnecessary lawsuits.

In South Carolina, it is mandatory for all employers who have more than three full-time employees to carry workers compensation insurance. There are situations however where some people who work in the agriculture industry and the railroad sector may not be covered by workers compensation.

Workers’ compensation does not cover freelancers and independent contractors; only part-time and full-time employees are covered. It is important to know the distinction between an independent contractor and a full-time worker.  There are employers who deliberately classify some workers as independent contractors so that they do not have to provide workers’ compensation benefits. It is always a good idea to confirm this before you sign an employment contract with any employer. If for any reason you have been classified as an independent contractor while working for a company in Chester, you need to speak to the employer and find out the reasons for this classification. You can also seek legal counsel from an experienced workers comp lawyer.

What benefits are provided for South Carolina workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation includes the following benefits:

  • All medical visits and any surgical costs
  • Follow up visits to the doctor
  • Prescription medications
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home care nurse visits
  • Any prosthetic device that you may require
  • Any ambulatory devices

In addition, you may receive a portion of lost wages. However, the rate of compensation is about 2/3rd of your average weekly income that you were earning prior to the accident. No one receives more than 66% of their pre-accident salary. Once you return to work, the same salary that you earned prior to the injury will restart, and the Workers’ Compensation benefits will stop.

There are times when the worker has suffered a serious injury and may not be able to return to work. In cases of bilateral leg amputation or severe permanent head injury, the worker may be entitled to receive lifetime benefits.

In most cases, the worker compensation laws do not allow you to sue the employer. However, if there was a third party that was negligent and caused you severe injury, you may be able to file a claim against that person, as long as the event occurred while on the job. However, in all such third-party cases, the burden is on the injured worker to prove that the third party was negligent; and that can sometimes be difficult. The third party is not always another worker but may be a maker of a defective product, a careless delivery driver, or a negligent repair person. Workers’ Compensation benefits are between the worker and the employer. Any third party involvement has to be pursued differently.

Reach Out to a Chester, South Carolina, Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you were injured at work, it is your responsibility to make sure that the workers compensation claim is filed on time. You also need to inform your employer as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the law expects both workers and employers to abide by all specified conditions. Failure to do so can result in penalties for employers and claim denials for workers.

If you are unsure of how to proceed or what benefits you can claim, contact our skilled workers’ comp attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm. The dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers at Elrod Pope Law Firm have helped numerous clients with the workers’ compensation claims, and we can provide you the legal representation you need. In case your employer refuses to accept responsibility for the injury, or if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance at all, you can still file a claim. Our legal team has dealt with complicated cases before, and we understand how employers and insurance companies can often manipulate situations so that they do not suffer financial losses. Call the experienced workers comp lawyers at the Elrod Pope Law Firm today at 803-599-3080, and we can schedule you in for a free consultation with a workers compensation lawyer. Let us know the details of your injury and medical treatment, and our experienced workers comp lawyers will guide you as to how you should proceed.  

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