Many people fail to realize just how dangerous it can be to work in the construction industry. But the construction industry consistently ranks second, behind the transportation industry, in workplace fatalities each year. Even nonfatal construction injuries are often serious and require costly medical treatment.

Injured construction workers may be unable to work for weeks or even months. The South Carolina workers’ compensation system provides coverage for medical treatment and wage replacement. However, compensation is not automatic. A worker must file a claim for benefits and receive approval before benefits begin.

When the workers’ compensation system works as intended, an employer’s insurance carrier quickly approves an injured worker’s claim and benefits start almost immediately. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always work this way. That is why you should consider consulting a personal injury attorney if you are injured at work on a construction site.

An insurance carrier may deny the claim for number of reasons. Most commonly, claims are turned down because an employer denies that the injury was job-related. An injured worker is entitled to appeal a denial. But if you are represented by an attorney, you have a better chance of having your claim approved at the beginning, avoiding the need for an appeal.

Another reason to consult with an attorney is that some construction injuries may qualify for third-party compensation in addition to or instead of workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation system may not cover all the costs of medical care and wage replacement for an injured worker. If a third-party caused or contributed to your injuries, you may be able to recover additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can evaluate your injury and determine whether third-party liability is a potential avenue for compensation.

A construction accident can cause serious, life-threatening physical injuries to a worker. In addition, the sudden inability to work can threaten the financial stability of the worker’s family. If you have suffered a construction workplace injury in South Carolina, you have a legal right to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries.

About the Author

Ken Harrell joined Joye Law Firm in 1994, and has been the managing partner since 2006. With 30 years of experience, he protects the rights of injured South Carolinians, including cases involving workers’ compensation, car accidents, and defective products. Ken also leads the firm’s referral practice, helping to ensure that our clients receive the best possible representation. He is a past president of South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, and has served as the co-chairman of this organization’s legislative affairs committee for 12 years.

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