Employees that work with toxic chemicals and heavy equipment in chemical plants are exposed to a variety of workplace hazards. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates these businesses and requires employers to create a safe work environment, plant accidents still occur and can seriously injure employees.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a serious injury or illness related to your work at a chemical plant, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The skilled chemical plant injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm are here to help. We’ve been standing up for hardworking people across South Carolina for more than 50 years. As demonstrated by our reviews from past clients, we are committed to helping victims seek the results that count while also providing superior customer service.
At Joye Law Firm, we have the skills and resources to help you pursue the best possible outcome of your case. Our attorneys have been recognized by national rankings such as Super Lawyers for their legal skills, as well as their dedication to helping strengthen communities across South Carolina. We can evaluate your case, help you understand your legal options, and help you fight for your rights.
If you’ve been injured in a chemical plant accident and been denied workers’ compensation, then contact our workers’ comp attorneys at Joye Law Firm to stand up for your rights. We have four offices across South Carolina, conveniently located in North Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton to serve you. To get started, set up a free consultation by calling (877) 941-1019 or contacting us online today.
Chemical Plant Injuries in South Carolina
South Carolina chemical plant injuries have led to a variety of injuries and illnesses for workers and people in surrounding communities. For example, at least nine people were killed and more than 30 others injured in a 1991 explosion at a chemical plant north of Charleston that occurred while workers were blending chemicals in an enclosed mixing system. Area residents said they could hear the blast from several miles away.
The explosion came after 25 people were injured at the same plant earlier in 1991 when someone inadvertently turned a valve for a hazardous chemical, and after a chemical spill caused another explosion at the same location in 1983, injuring 16 workers.
More recently, Charleston residents were put on lockdown in November 2019 due to a phosphorous leak at a nearby chemical plant. Earlier, one woman was killed in 2009 due to an ammonia leak at a plant in Swansea near Columbia. In the Swansea incident, the company didn’t use proper safety precautions, such as safety valves and an alarm system, which might have prevented the tragedy.
If you are suffering from a chemical plant injury or illness caused by an event like these recent leaks or explosions or any other type of chemical plant accident, then you might be entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits.
The Workers’ Compensation Act in South Carolina requires most businesses with four or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who suffer workplace injuries, including injuries and illnesses stemming from chemical plant accidents. Workers’ comp benefits help cover:
- Medical expenses. Workers’ compensation should cover all medical treatment necessary to help you recover from your work-related injuries or illness. This includes expenses like doctor visits, medications, medical supplies, surgeries, prosthetic devices, and hospitalization.
- Lost income. Compensation typically covers two-thirds of your average weekly wage for a specified period of time while you are recovering. After you reach maximum medical improvement, if you have permanent disabilities, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of function of a body part, for example. The amount of income compensation you can receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and your impairment rating.
- Death benefits. If your loved one was killed in a chemical plant accident, then workers’ comp provides surviving loved ones with compensation to cover burial expenses, as well as payments to help make up for the loss of the deceased’s income.
To initiate a workers’ comp claim, you must report your injury to your employer within 90 days of the accident. You must also file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) within two years of the accident.
If your employer or workers’ comp insurer denies your claim or tries to discontinue payments before you have been released from a doctor’s care, then you can appeal the decision with the help of our knowledgeable workers’ comp attorneys. A Commissioner will decide what relief you are eligible to receive based on evidence and medical records that you and your employer present in a hearing.
If you are dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s ruling, then you can appeal the decision to the full Commission, which will hold another hearing. If you still feel that the decision is unfair, then you can appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court.