As S.C. Ann § 42-1-360 outlines, workers’ compensation does not cover the following types of workers:
- “Casual” employees
- Small business employees (e.g., fewer than four employees)
- Agricultural employees or sellers
- Railroad employees
- Real estate agents
- Federal employees
- Truck drivers who work as independent contractors
What Workers’ Compensation Covers
Any worker whose employer is not exempt from providing workers’ compensation may be eligible for benefits after a workplace injury. Those benefits could include:
- Lost wages: You could get up to two-thirds of your usual weekly salary. This may or may not include your first week away from work; it depends on how long you are off the job.
- Free medical care: You may have to visit a doctor of your employer’s choice. However, you are entitled to receive all care the doctor deems necessary at no charge.
- Disability benefits: Whether your injury resulted in temporary or permanent disability, you could receive additional benefits.
- Disfigurement: Depending on the severity of the scarring and its placement on your body, you could receive compensation.
If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you could qualify for death benefits.
What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover
As helpful as workers’ compensation can be, it does not cover all types of damages. For example, it cannot reimburse you for:
- Pain and suffering: Your injury was very painful and upsetting, and/or it will continue to cause distress in the future.
- Emotional distress: The injury and the experience of being injured has caused psychological anguish. This includes being diagnosed with a mental illness like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or exacerbating an existing mental illness.
- Reduced quality of life: You can no longer care for yourself without assistance, participate in favorite hobbies, and so on.
- Loss of consortium: Your marriage has suffered in some way because of the accident.
To receive these and other damages that workers’ compensation does not cover, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the liable party. A lawyer from our firm can help you get the appropriate compensation without charging any upfront attorney’s fees.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-326-3333
Getting Fair Compensation for Your Injury
Workers’ compensation is just one way to seek financial recovery after a workplace injury. You may also be able to sue the liable party for damages. Our firm would be happy to listen to your account of the accident and determine what the best way to pursue fair compensation is.
To get workers’ compensation, injured employees should go through the following steps, as laid out by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC):
- Tell the employer about the injury within 90 days
- Wait for the employer to file a workers’ compensation claim on their behalf
- File their own claim if the employer refuses to do so for any reason
- File an appeal, if the employer or their insurance company continues to deny benefits
If you run into problems with your employer or their insurance company, let us step in. We can help employees with:
- Collecting evidence: For example, we can ask your doctor to provide a written statement in support of your request for workers’ compensation.
- Filing paperwork: We can file the initial request, ask for a hearing, submit the evidence we have collected, and so on.
- Preparing for hearings: If we end up having to appeal your case, we can represent you in meetings with the workers’ compensation commissioner.
- Understanding the system: Getting benefits is not always as easy as it should be. We make ourselves available to help clients navigate the workers’ compensation system.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Filing a lawsuit may include some or all of the following steps:
- Investigate the injury: We could request documentary evidence, visit your workplace, talk to witnesses, and more.
- Calculate the damages you qualify for: This way, it is harder for the insurance company to offer less than you deserve; you know exactly what the injury is worth.
- File the lawsuit: We can let the liable party know that you are filing a lawsuit, why you are doing so, and what you want to get out of it.
- Communicate with the liable party: This includes scheduling a meeting with their insurance company and sitting down to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Prepare the settlement agreement: We can write up the agreement and go over it with you before you sign it.
- Prepare a court case: If negotiating is not an option or is unsuccessful, we are more than willing to represent our clients in the courtroom. You do not have to worry about submitting evidence, making arguments, or anything else.
Consult with Us Today
Whether or not you are covered by workers’ compensation, we would like to help you recover the money that you and your family need. To get a free case review from a member of our team, call Hammack Law Firm at (864) 326-3333. If we cannot get compensation for you, then you do not owe us any attorney’s fees.