Workers' Compensation

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LEIPLAW will help you with your workers compensation claim.

A major area of our practice at Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell and Owens, P.A, involves Workers’ Compensation. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law affects the life of every worker and their family in our state. In most instances, Workers’ Compensation is the sole legal remedy when someone is injured on the job.

Workers’ Compensation

Injuries on the job are covered by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. In South Carolina, workers are entitled to recover certain benefits if they are injured while performing work for their employer. In order to recover, several steps must be taken by the employee. First, an employee must give their employer notice that an accident occurred while working. Second, you must prove that your injury was an accident that arose out of the employment. Most injuries on the job are covered because they occur at the jobsite while the employee is doing his or her normal job duties. For instance, if a painter falls from a ladder, an office worker trips over a box, or if a delivery driver has a truck accident while performing their job duties, they are covered by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. It is not necessary to prove that the accident was caused by someone other than the injured worker. Workers’ compensation covers an injured employee even if the employee was in some way at fault for his or her injury.

How we can help you:

Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell, and Owens will make the insurance company pay for all medical treatment that is authorized and related to your injury. You do not have to pay co-payments or deductibles. Medical treatment that is covered under workers’ compensation includes doctor visits, hospital admissions, surgery, x-rays, MRI’s, medication, physical therapy and all other treatment that will work toward reducing the disability of the injured worker. Workers’ compensation also requires the insurance company to pay for your mileage going to and from the medical providers.

Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell, and Owens will make the insurance company pay for the time you miss from work. One of the greatest benefits of Workers’ compensation is the weekly disability check paid to the injured worker who cannot return to work because of an injury on the job. If you are excused from work by the authorized health care provider, you should receive a weekly disability check. You are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly paycheck. This disability check should be paid to you for the entire time you are unable to return to work.

Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell, and Owens will get you a second opinion regarding additional medical treatment. You are entitled to a second opinion, but in some circumstances you may have to pay for the second opinion evaluation. This is a cost Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell and Owens can pay for you if necessary. If the second opinion results in a recommendation for additional treatment, we will demand that the insurance company provide such treatment. If the treatment is not provided, we will request a hearing before a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. We will provide testimony, medical evidence and other pertinent documents to the Commission, who can then decide whether the insurance company must provide the recommended treatment.

Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell, and Owens will help you receive compensation for your permanent disabilities. Once you have been released from medical care, a determination will be made regarding permanent disability. If the injured Workers’ disability prevents him or her from returning to work, or he has a permanent physical or emotional injury, he may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. Under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system, an injured worker may receive several types of benefits, depending on the injuries and resulting disabilities. Attorneys Lee, Eadon, Isgett, Popwell, and Owens will help you determine whether you are eligible for lifetime benefits, permanent and total disability benefits or permanent partial disability.

Following are questions that we are frequently asked about the Workers’ Compensation law by injured workers and the answers that we commonly give to those questions.

What constitutes an injury "on the job?”

Where applicable, an "on the job” injury is one that arises out of and is in the course and scope of one’s employment.

What should I do if I am injured on the job?

In order to protect your rights, you should take the following steps if you are injured on the job.

  1. Report the accident immediately to your supervisor and request medical treatment for your injuries.
  2. Follow up to assure that the supervisor has completed the necessary paperwork and filed it, as required by law.
  3. Obtain a copy of the paperwork and keep in a safe place, in case it its needed later.
  4. Call the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission at 803-737-5700 to confirm that the accident has been properly reported by your employer.

What does Workers’ Compensation actually cover?

The Workers’ Compensation law is designed to protect injured workers in the following three primary areas:

  1. Authorized medical treatment at employer’s expense should be provided to you if you are injured on the job if it will reasonably tend to lessen your disability.
  2. Weekly benefits should be paid to you if you are temporarily disabled from work while recuperating.
  3. Benefits may be paid to you once you reach maximum medical improvement if your injury is permanent.

How am I actually paid when temporarily unable to return to work?

If you are "temporarily totally disabled,” without interruption for more than seven days from an on the job injury, weekly benefits should be paid to you at the rate of (2/3) of your average weekly wage.

If I cannot reach an agreement with my employer about the benefits owed to me, what rights do I have?

If an agreement cannot be reached with your employer about the benefits owed to you, a hearing can be requested before the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission.

Unlike in negligence cases, jury trials are not allowed in Workers’ Compensation cases.

The hearing commissioner has jurisdiction to rule on all relevant issues. An appeal of the commissioner’s decision is first taken before the entire commission and then may move to the South Carolina Court system.

Brain Damage in South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Cases

What benefits are available if a member of my family has brain damage from an injury or chemical exposure on the job?

An injured worker with physical brain damage is entitled to lifetime disability benefits plus medical treatment for life if the physical brain damage causes disability.

Is brain surgery necessary to prove physical brain damage?

No, an injured worker may be able to prove physical brain damage and collect lifetime benefits even if there was no surgery. It may be possible to prove physical brain damage even if there were no skull fracture. A concussion or a contusion can cause physical brain damage.

What symptoms should I look for to determine if someone might have sustained physical brain damage?

Common symptoms after an injury that indicate physical brain damage include lack of concentration, irritability, memory loss, and confusion. Frequently, family members and close friends notice personality changes.

How can I determine if these symptoms are the result of brain damage?

Usually, the first step is to be examined by a neurologist. CAT scans and MRI scans may be needed but a normal MRI or CAT scan does not rule out physical brain damage. Frequently, more sensitive tests known as neuro-psychological tests are required.

Can I receive lifetime medical benefits and prove brain damage if my MRI and CT scans are normal?

Yes, frequently MRI scans and CT scans do not detect subtle changes in the brain that produce psychological and personality changes.

What are neuropsychological tests?

Neuropsychological tests compare a person’s level of function before and after their injury. A trained psychologist administers neuropsychological testing. They consist of IQ tests, personality tests, functional ability testing, and a clinical interview. It can usually be completed in several hours.

How do I pay for an evaluation by a neurologist and for neuropsychological testing?

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for paying all medical expenses that tend to lessen your disability. This means all medical expenses that would help you recover. If the insurance company refuses to pay for these expenses, most claimants’ attorneys, including our firm, will pay for these expenses for you and will be reimbursed when the case is settled.

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