Workmen’s Compensation

If you are injured on the job and are unable to work you may be entitled to benefits under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws. The system used in this state was devised by the South Carolina Legislature to ensure that an employee who is injured while working for someone else is not left out in the cold if he or she is unable to be employed while injured.

Although there are a few exceptions, such as for smaller businesses and farms, most South Carolina employers with four (4) or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. This insurance can provide benefits in the form of monetary compensation for certain job-related injuries or occupational diseases suffered by persons who are injured while on the job in South Carolina. Just because your employer may not have four or more employees, does not necessarily mean that there will not be a viable workers’ compensation claim.

The workers’ compensation law was designed to do the following:

  • ake sure an employee continues to receive a portion (66 2/3% ) of their average pre-injury weekly wages (the “compensation rate”) for the period they are unable to return to work after seven (7) calendar days, limited to a maximum amount set by the SC Employment Security Commission each year;
  • Ensure that the employer who is subject to the Workers Compensation Act pays for 100% of the injured employee’s medical care and treatment necessary to lessen the period of the injured worker’s disability and to help them reach maximum medical improvement; and,
  • See that the employee is properly and fairly compensated for any future lost earnings capacity, permanent disability or loss of use of a body part.

Under certain circumstances, employees are also entitled to reimbursements for mileage traveled for medical appointments. If the employee is working more than one job at the time of an injury, the employee is entitled to have both wages figured into the compensation rate.

It is important to note that workers’ compensation is often considered an exclusive remedy under South Carolina law. For this reason, the employee is not allowed to sue his or her employer for any alleged negligence, is not entitled to payment for pain and suffering and must pursue the claim solely through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. With few exceptions, the employer cannot avoid the payment of workers’ compensation benefits by claiming the employee caused the accident which resulted in injury.

However, in the event you are injured at work because of a defective product or through the negligence of some person or entity other than your employer or a fellow employee, in addition to the workers’ compensation claim, you may also have a third party claim which is separate and distinct from the comp claim.

It is critical to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer evaluate the facts surrounding your accident to determine whether, in addition to your comp claim, you also have a claim against a negligent third party. This is extremely important because damages which are recoverable against a negligent third party are much more expansive than those available under the Workers’ Compensation Act. If you fail to properly preserve that claim, it may be barred by pursuit of the comp claim and your recovery could be limited to what you receive in the workers’ compensation arena.

The Mason Law Firm represents individuals who have been injured while on the job. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury while on the job, the Mason Law Firm can provide experienced representation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your claim.