A workplace injury can threaten the financial security of an entire family. Medical bills, lost income and other expenses can add up quickly.
Fortunately, most employees in South Carolina are covered by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. If you suffered an illness or injury while performing a work-related task, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical care, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages and professional training.
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However, very few employers voluntarily step up to the plate and pay injured workers fair compensation. The best way to protect your interests is to hire a personal injury attorney.
What Is My Workers’ Compensation Case Worth
Every workers’ compensation claim is unique, so it is impossible to estimate the value of your claim without knowing the details of your case.
Several factors will influence the amount of compensation you receive. These include:
Your average weekly wage;
The parts of the body affected;
The extent of your permanent impairment or disability; and
Whether the injury is classified as a total or partial disability.
According to SECTION 42-9-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, if your injury causes a total incapacity to do your work, your employer must pay 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage during the period of disability. If you could not work for at least seven days, then you will be entitled to compensation starting on the date of the injury.
The maximum duration of workers’ compensation payments is 500 weeks if you suffered total disability or your family member died due to a job-related injury. However, most accidents only affect a single body part, in which case you could only receive compensation under workers’ comp for 300 weeks.
According to SECTION 42-9-30, the duration of workers’ comp benefits can vary from one type of injury to the next. For example:
The loss of a thumb entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 65 weeks;
A less than 50% permanent disability to your back or neck entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 300 weeks;
A permanent disability to your shoulder entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 300 weeks;;
The loss of an eye entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 140 weeks;
A permanent disability to a leg entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 195 weeks; and
The loss of a hand entitles an employee to 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage for 185 weeks.
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