Workers’ Compensation Claims
Charleston Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
The South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Lofton & Lofton are committed to protecting the rights of workers injured on the job. Since 1984, we have successfully represented numerous claimants before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Our Charleston office provides comprehensive legal service to employees filing workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is an insurance system through which employers and their insurance carriers provide cash payments and medical treatment for job-related disability, occupational disease, and death from accidental injury. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission is the agency responsible for processing these claims statewide. Successful claimants may be entitled to a variety of benefits, including:
- Hospital costs
- Medical supplies
- Surgery, prosthetics
- Average weekly wage
- Missed time from work
- Lump-sum for impairment
- Medical care travel expenses
- Lost income after 7-day period
- Death benefits for family dependents
South Carolina laws have changed, making it more difficult to prove eligibility for benefits (a qualifying injury) and to schedule a hearing. Cash payments for certain disabilities have also been decreased, while the injured worker bears a greater burden of proof. Trial before a Worker’s Compensation Commissioner is considered by many to be the best recourse for injured workers to prove their claim. Hearings necessitate a qualified advocate to represent workers’ rights.
Workers’ Compensation Process
The workers’ compensation claims process involves multiple forms and deadlines. The injured worker is responsible for requesting benefits, seeking medical care, and submitting proof of injury within the given time period, or will forfeit the right to relief. Guidelines may require:
- Reporting injury within 90 days
- Written notice of accident to employer
- Filing claim for injury or death within 2 years
- Medical treatment from doctor chosen by employer
- Viewing to determine impairment level or permanent scar
- Permission from insurance to receive second medical opinion
- Acceptance of light duty work at lower wage or termination of payments
- Doctor’s discharge permitting return to work with or without restrictions
The Commission is not liable for any late or absent claims. This places all responsibility on injured workers to know what to do, when to meet legal deadlines, and understand the full extent of their rights. Intensive learning about the system may not be possible for injured employees who were never informed of the requirements and are trying to recover from an accident.
Calculation of Benefits
In addition to medical treatment, successful claimants are entitled to workers’ compensation payments that reflect 66 2/3 percent of their average weekly income, subject to a maximum. The average weekly wage for each occupation is determined every year by the Commission and may change. The employer’s insurance carrier will begin payments after the injured employee has been out of work for more than 7 days. Employees who work two or more jobs at the time of the harm are entitled to payment for the occupation’s average weekly wage and compensation rate.
Successful Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you or a loved one suffered a job-related injury or occupational disease, the South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Lofton & Lofton can help. For over 25 years, our legal team has opened up the path to relief for injured workers throughout Charleston and South Carolina. At Lofton & Lofton, we are dedicated to helping you present the most persuasive workers’ compensation claim possible and seek timely receipt of benefits. Call (843) 722-6372 for a free consultation or contact us online.