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Hurt on the Job? Contact Our Firm for the Compensation You Deserve

Columbia Workers' Compensation Attorney

Injured on the Job? Call Our Firm Today.

Whether you work in a basic office or spend most of your day lifting heavy loads, you can be covered under workers’ compensation when your employer carries it. This means that if you suffer injury while on the job or performing work-related duties, you may be able to get compensated for your medical bills, time away from work, and other expenses.

South Carolina has specific laws governing workplace safety and employer responsibility. If more than four employees are on staff, an employer is typically required to provide workers’ compensation to protect them. Getting this benefits is not easy, however, and will require you to prove your claim and file in the necessary timeframe (90 days in most case).

Our Columbia workers’ comp lawyer can provide insight on:

Have additional legal questions or ready to pursue a claim?
Give our firm a call now at (803) 359-3301!

What type of medical expenses will workers’ comp cover?

While each case is unique and your specific benefits will depend on your exact injuries and determined disability level, there are certain expenses that you can expect to be covered.

Some of the most common include the following:

  • Prescriptions
  • Any surgical procedures
  • Hospitalization
  • Medical supplies or devices
  • Travel expenses (if more than 10 miles)

However, in order to be covered under workers’ compensation, you must go to the doctor that your employer or their insurance has chosen. If you do not, you may be left to pay for your medical expenses on your own. You may be able to request to see another doctor or receive a second opinion if you are not happy with the medical professional they have chosen for you. You will also be provided a percentage of your average weekly wage if you have to miss more than seven days.

Workers’ Compensation FAQ

We understand that you may have questions regarding your Workers’ Compensation rights. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions.

What is Workers' Compensation and how does it work in SC? Workers’ Compensation is a legal system for providing medical benefits and compensation to employees who are injured on the job. Most employees are automatically covered, and it provides benefits for work-related injuries regardless of fault.

Here are some examples of covered injuries:

  • A company truck driver falls off of a trailer whole securing a load
  • A warehouse worker is hit in the head by a falling box
  • A retail worker slips on a wet floor
  • An office workers trips over a file cabinet

Do I have rights to sue my job for the injury? What if my employer was negligent? In South Carolina it is considered an injured employee’s “sole remedy” for on the job injuries, meaning that it applies instead of having to go to court. As a result an employee can no longer sue their employer as long as Workers’ Compensation applies. This is true whether or not the employer was negligent.

Do I get paid for the time I can't go to work because of the injury? Yes. After a brief waiting period you are entitled to be paid what are called temporary total disability benefits for time you are unable to work. These benefits are normally capped at 2/3rd of your average weekly wage. In addition to being paid, you are also entitled to mileage for trips to and from the doctor’s office.

Do I have any other legal rights if my job terminates me because of the injury? Workers’ Compensation benefits are actually paid for by an insurance company hired by your employer. That means that your employer doesn’t directly pay for your medical bills, temporary total disability, or other amounts. Most employers, even small ones, do not retaliate against employees who choose to exercise their rights to these benefits (in fact many good employers want to see their employees get the benefits that they have paid for). But in the unfortunate event that an employer chooses to fire an employee for submitting a Workers’ Compensation claim there may be rights to file an additional claim in court for retaliatory discharge.

Can I go to my own independent doctor after the injury, or must I go where my job sends me? Your employer (or rather their insurance company) has the right to select the doctor you see for medical treatments. Many times they will pick a good doctor who will try to help you. Sometimes though the doctor they pick isn’t the right kind of doctor, or may not seem to actually be trying to help you. If that happens then there are procedures available under the Workers’ Compensation law to try to have the doctor changed to someone who is a better fit.
How do I know what my case is worth? After you complete all of your medical treatments you will be at a point called Maximum Medical Improvement. At that point you are entitled to be paid for any permanent injury that remains.

The exact amount will depend on several factors, but here are the most important:

  • What were your pre-injury earnings?
  • What body part or parts have a permanent injury?
  • What impairment level have the doctors assigned?

In Workers’ Compensation law, every body part is assigned a certain maximum benefit award, specified in a number of weeks of compensation. Fingers, toes, shoulders, backs, ears, and even tongues are all listed. The exact amount of settlement that you may be entitled to will depend on these factors, along with whether or not there is any possible need for future or ongoing medical expenses.

Impairment level is a percentage determined by a doctor by applying a guidebook called the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Our office has a copy of this book, and we use it to “double-check” the doctor’s opinion to make sure that it is fair.

Will my attorney settle without my knowledge or consent? No. A lawyer can never settle a Workers’ Compensation case without the client’s specific, written consent.

When is the right time to go see a lawyer? Many times appropriate Workers’ Compensation benefits can be obtained without involving a lawyer.

But it would be a good idea for you to reach out for a consultation immediately if one of the following does apply:

  • Your claim is completely denied by the insurance company or employer (they refuse to provide any benefits).
  • Your injury is serious and life-altering (brain injury, disabling, death), or is sufficient to make returning to previous work difficult or impossible.
  • If orthopedic surgery was required (meaning a surgeon operated on a back or major joint).
  • If “hardware” was required (such as pins to hold a broken arm or leg in place were required)
  • There was a significant scar as a result of the injury (such as facial lacerations, or other scarring visible during normal work conditions).

Take Action Now to Get Deserved Benefits

Suffering an injury while on the job can be a very serious issue and can result in a great deal of hardship for employees. You may never fully recover from your injury or may have to deal with life-long pain and suffering. This can be frustrating and overwhelming, but the good news is that there are benefits available to you. You should act quickly by setting up a free consultation with our firm.

Our Columbia personal injury lawyer has been advocating for injury victims for countless years. When it comes to handling these claims, we know how the system works and can provide meaningful insight. At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we make sure to put our clients’ needs firsts and utilize our experience to benefit their cases.

If you are looking for a trustworthy legal advocate to guide you through this complex process, call on us. We are ready to stand by you each and every step of the way.

  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • American Association for Justice
  • South Carolina Association for Justice
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney Personal Injury

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