What Am I Owed if Injured at Work?

August 25, 2022 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

Learn Your Rights After Work-Related Accidents Cause Serious Injuries: Personal Injury Lawyers in Greenville, SC Share Important Info

Let’s face it, work is just dangerous to our health. Aside from the health concerns brought on by the stress of working with, let’s just say, hard-to-get-along-with people… each year there are over 2.6 million nonfatal injury-causing accidents at work in the United States, with many more suspected unreported cases. Other statistics reveal there are roughly 5,000 additional fatal accidents, including a large percentage in construction and manufacturing.

We know that not everyone can just stop working to avoid danger (it would be nice, boss!), so our personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina are here to advocate for your rights to compensation in case of a work-related accident.

Unfortunately, when it comes to work-related accidents, the answers are never that clear. There are many different situations a work-related accident could end up twisting and turning into, so it can be difficult to know right away what a person is owed in a work-related accident in South Carolina.

But here at The Hammack Law Firm, our team of skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyers knows the law and a bit of magic to help determine what you may be owed in a work-related accident.

First Step, Work-related Accidents = Workers’ Comp

Workers’ compensation is the first place you have to turn to in a work-related accident. This body of law is meant to be the exclusive answer for injured workers. Nearly all employers must carry workers’ comp insurance, and nearly all workers are covered by it—including seasonal, part-time, and temporary workers. Hey, even those who leave their k-cups in the machine and walk away are covered!

Under South Carolina law, workers’ comp benefits cover up to two-thirds (2/3s) of lost wages, medical bills, and certain other benefits that apply in specific instances. One instance is where a worker has sustained a permanent loss of use or injury. In that situation, an injured worker may be entitled to recover what is known as a “schedule loss of use” for that specific body part. Other benefits include a death benefit to surviving family members should a worker be wrongfully killed in a work-related accident. 

The advantage of workers’ compensation benefits is that it is a no-fault system. This means the negligence of an injured worker will not reduce the compensation paid under workers’ comp. Thus, even Wiley E. Coyote can get paid benefits. 

But what WC does do is limit the rights of workers. This means that an injured worker who is hurt at work cannot sue his employer or coworker. Instead, the worker will need to file for workers’ comp. Although this sounds like a good thing – and sometimes it is – workers’ compensation benefits do not pay for conscious pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or other emotional/non-economic damages, which means that most injured workers will miss out on compensation.

Second Step, Look for Exceptions

Although workers’ compensation can block many injured workers from obtaining pain and suffering, our personal injury lawyers in South Carolina know how to get around it. That’s because there are some exceptions to the exclusive provision of WC. 

The most common exception is a third-party claim. An injured worker who may have been within the scope of employment but injured by a third party may still be entitled to bring a personal injury action. This means that an injured worker may be able to recover additional compensation than just through WC alone.

An example would be in a motor vehicle accident. A worker may be making deliveries or traveling between job sites and injured in a car crash. The worker’s employer or coworker didn’t cause that crash, but maybe by another driver who ran a red light. The injured worker may be able to commence a third-party claim to recover compensation.

Third Step, How Long Will You Be Out?

If you have been out of work for more than six months and a doctor believes you will be out for at least another six months (total of one year), you may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You may be able to recover both workers’ comp benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time. 

Again, there is an offset. 

Again, it is super complicated to figure out, so it’s always better to call one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina directly for help.

So What Could I Get in My Work Accident?

Unfortunately, with work-related accidents, we cannot “show you the money” until we know more about your claim and you. On the one hand, you may only be entitled to workers’ comp. That is two-thirds (2/3s) of your average weekly wages that you lost, plus reimbursement of medical expenses. Got a permanent injury? We got an answer through the schedule loss of use. 

But if your injury is not on the schedule loss of use (meaning it is a nonscheduled loss of use), you will need a WC lawyer to help advocate for that type of claim. It can also dictate what compensation you may be entitled to.

What if a third party may have caused your accident? In that case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. That could be drastically different than workers’ comp benefits.

Let’s divide by zero and add more havoc by adding in SSDI – this federal program can really through a curveball into your claim.

As you can appreciate, although our lawyers are said to be magical, we don’t currently have a crystal ball to tell you exactly what you will get paid in your claim. Although we would love to help you and your family by getting you answers to your questions and giving you an idea where your claim may end up.

Hurt at Work? Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina to Learn What You are Owed

If all of this seems confusing to you, we totally understand. That’s where we come in. Our bodily injury experts at the Hammack Law Firm are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed due to the negligence of another person. Whether you were injured at work, on the property of another, or in a vehicle, call our compassionate and experienced team today to schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights to compensation.

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us:

(864) 326-3333

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