A worker injured on the job will be eligible for certain benefits as outlined by law. Unlike a private insurance contract where two partied come to terms on when a claim can be filed and what is to be paid, South Carolina law outlines what benefits are owed to a client. Since every case is different, hiring an attorney to interprets the State Workers Compensation Act can help the injured worker maximize the benefits allowed under the statute.
The three main benefits a claimant is entitled to are lost wages, medical care and disability benefits for permanent injury. Lost wages will be paid up to 2/3 of the wages the injured worker was making at the time of the injury. The amount the worker was making at the time of injury, call the average weekly wage, also would include any wages earned at a second job. If the worker had just started the job, there are methods to determine what the worker would have been making at the time of the injury. The law allows for these payment to continue so long as the doctor is keeping the worker out of work or if the employer does not offer a job within the restrictions placed on the worker by the doctor.
The Claimant is entitled to medical care but he law allows the Insurance company to choose the doctor. Claimant must use the doctor of choice but do have rights to request second opinions in certain circumstances. The injured workers is entitled to medical care at the expense of the insurance company for life, so long as the doctor states the treatment will benefit the injured worker and allow the injured worker to maintain the current level of health.
Last, if the Claimant has sustained a permanent injury that causes a partial or permanent disability in the body part injured, the injured worker can collect a lump sum settlement. The settlement is based on wages earned at the time of the injury, the body part injured and the degree the injury causes problems. For instance, an injured thumb would allow a maximum recovery of 66 weeks of compensation while an arm is worth 220 weeks. The Workers Compensation Law lays out all the body parts and assigns weekly values to each.
An Attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm can assist injury workers in figuring out what benefits are entitled under the law. Remember that an insurance company does not have an obligation to tell you the law or help you with your claim. Call us at 843-871-6522 to speak to a Workers Compensation Attorney.