Companies in South Carolina employ workers in various competitive industries, including automotive manufacturing, health care, construction, engineering, and aerospace.
Some jobs inherently have a higher risk of injury. Jobs in agribusiness, manufacturing, and the transportation industry are particularly hazardous.
If you’ve been injured on the job in the North Charleston area, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help cover the costs of your medical expenses and loss of earnings if you’re unable to work.
At Joye Law Firm, our attorneys have been advocating for injured workers in our community for more than 50 years. We have the skills and experience to advise you of your rights as an injured employee, help guide you through the workers’ compensation claims process, and help you get back on your feet.
Contact Joye Law Firm today for a free case review.
Industries with Highest Injury Rates in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Labor tracks workplace injuries. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the SC Department of Labor ranked industries in South Carolina with the highest rates of occupational injuries and illnesses among workers. They are:
- State Government Public Safety – 5.7 injuries per 100 full-time employees
- Private hospitals – 4.9
- Local government hospitals – 4.8
- State government hospitals – 4.7
- Nursing Home and residential care facilities – 4.2
- Metal manufacturing – 4.1
- Food manufacturing – 3.9
- Miscellaneous manufacturing – 3.6
- Local government school systems – 3.4
North Charleston Workers Compensation
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws allow workers who are injured on the job to claim compensation for medical costs, lost earnings, and disability benefits if they are injured. The workers’ compensation system also allows the surviving family members of employees killed on the job to seek death benefits.
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident or developed a work-related illness, the first thing you should do is to report your condition to your employer immediately. Your employer is responsible for covering the cost of your medical care, as long as you are evaluated by a physician that the workers’ compensation provider has approved.
Under South Carolina state law, employers have a right to select the physician that treats your work-related injuries. Typically, employers provide a list of doctors from which to choose a treating physician.
If you visit your own physician without consulting your employer first, your employer might not be responsible for any costs that accompany the visit. The exception to this is if you have sustained a serious injury on the job and require emergency medical treatment, then you may seek immediate treatment.
Workers could receive benefits for:
- Work-related injuries: If you sustain an injury on the job, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits to help cover expenses related to the injury.
- Work-related illness: If you sustain an illness due to a work hazard, for instance, you might be entitled to claim workers’ comp benefits to cover illness-related costs.
- Work-related repetitive stress injuries: Some injuries develop over time instead of occurring at the moment, like carpal tunnel syndrome. When you need to treat repetitive stress injuries, you can claim workers’ compensation to help cover the cost of treatment.
- Lost earnings: If you cannot return to work for some time, workers’ compensation benefits can help replace at least some of your lost income.
- Additional treatment: If your injury or illness requires ongoing care, workers’ compensation benefits can help cover the cost of that care.
- Permanent disability benefits: Some injuries may leave workers permanently disabled and unable to perform their job duties. If you are rendered disabled due to a work accident, workers’ compensation can cover your medical costs, missed wages, and more.
- Funeral expenses: Funeral costs are covered by workers’ compensation benefits if an employee passes away due to a work injury.
South Carolina’s manufacturing industry is booming, particularly in the automotive, boat, and appliance sectors. But manufacturing includes many types of employment with high rates of workplace injuries, such as food processing.
Many workers in the manufacturing industry regularly work with heavy equipment and dangerous machinery, leading to accidents, particularly if the employer does not properly maintain equipment and machinery. Common injuries in the manufacturing industry include cuts and lacerations, repetitive motion injuries, slip and fall injuries, crush injuries, broken and fractured bones, and more.
Health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes who care for patients have physically demanding and stressful jobs. Slip and fall accidents are common accidents in hospitals. Many health care workers develop back injuries, muscle tears, and other soft tissue injuries from lifting or moving patients.
Transportation is another of South Carolina’s biggest industries. This involves trains, ships, and commercial trucks. Many tractor-trailers drive through South Carolina each day, and some studies have indicated that South Carolina is among the most dangerous states to drive in. Truck drivers could easily injure themselves while making deliveries due to road hazards, traffic congestion, highway construction, and more.
Common injuries among office workers include slip and fall injuries, ergonomic injuries, soft-tissue injuries, and more. Illnesses and infectious diseases also spread quickly in office environments due to workers’ close proximity to one another. Repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are also common.
Other Dangerous Industries
Many industries in South Carolina have positions that place workers at risk of injury. Construction workers, metal workers, roofing workers, window washers, and other workers whose jobs involve physical labor are often dangerous. Employers owe their employees a duty of care to ensure that they are provided with the necessary safety equipment to do their job and that the work environment is appropriately inspected and maintained.
How a Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured on the job, it is important to understand your rights. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, depending on your employment status.
Securing workers’ compensation benefits should be straightforward, but unfortunately, some employers and insurance administrators dispute valid claims.
Let an experienced North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer at Joye Law Firm help you understand the benefits provided by S.C. law and help you pursue all the benefits available to you. We’ve been committed to helping workers just like you get back on their feet after serious accidents since 1968. Let us put our extensive knowledge and skills to work for you.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney at the North Charleston office of Joye Law Firm today for a free consultation.