Though the average South Carolina office building may not seem like a dangerous job environment, many office workers still suffer injuries on the job.
If you’ve sustained an injury while working in an office, it’s essential that you get medical treatment and then speak to a lawyer right away if you have difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Office injuries can take a severe physical toll on workers. Injuries can cause financial disruption as well. A knowledgeable lawyer can lead you through the workers’ compensation claims process and appeal denied claims.
The experienced worker’s compensation lawyers at Joye Law Firm are here to help office workers who are injured on the job anywhere in South Carolina. Our firm has been in business for more than 50 years. Eleven attorneys at Joye Law Firm have listed the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, including four attorneys who are recognized for their work representing workers’ compensation claimants. We’ve helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation.
To speak with a knowledgeable member of our legal team about your workers’ compensation claim, call (877) 936-9707 or visit our contact page to schedule a free initial consultation today. It won’t cost you anything to speak with us. If we represent you, you won’t owe us anything until we help you secure the benefits available to you by law.
What is Office Workers’ Compensation?
In South Carolina, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” benefit for employees who’ve become injured or ill on the job. This means that as an employee, you are entitled to receive benefits regardless of whether you or your employer was responsible for your injuries.
With a no-fault system for workers’ compensation, employees get their benefits more quickly after an accident because they don’t have to prove their employer was to blame. In exchange, employers generally cannot be sued for work-related injuries, though negligent third parties can be sued. We’ll discuss third-party lawsuits related to workplace injuries in more depth below.
According to South Carolina law, businesses with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. However, there are certain categories of workers who are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. These include:
- Railroad workers
- Agricultural workers
- Some real estate workers
- Certain kinds of temporary or seasonal employees
- Corporate officers
Injured office workers in South Carolina are entitled to a range of workers’ compensation benefits. These include paid medical treatment related to your injuries, partial wage replacement benefits to make up for any missed workdays while you were recovering from your injuries, compensation for permanent disabilities or permanent disfigurement, and vocational rehabilitation to help you find a new job if you cannot return to your old one.
Except in emergencies, your employer will choose your doctor if you’ve been injured on the job. Your employer’s selected healthcare provider will need to authorize treatment for your injuries, and your employer is only required to pay for treatments that have been approved by the doctor.
Workers’ compensation generally covers all medical costs related to your injuries, including doctor’s visits, surgical procedures, prescription medications, lab work, diagnostic tests, and physical therapy. Your medical benefits will continue until your doctor deems that you are fully healed or have reached maximum medical improvement. That means that you have reached the point where more medical treatment will not make any difference in terms of your recovery.
Injured workers may seek replacement of lost wages. If you qualify, you will receive payment equivalent to 66 percent of your average weekly wages. There are limits on the amount of money you can receive from wage replacement benefits. The state sets these limits; for 2020, the cap is $866.67 per week.
If an injured office worker has a particularly severe or long-lasting injury, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits. Permanent partial disability benefits cover workers who have lifelong injuries as a result of work-related accidents. To receive these benefits, you will have to be evaluated by your doctor, who will assign you an impairment rating showing how bad the damage is to a particular body part. Once you’ve received an impairment rating, you can receive disability benefits based on payment schedules set by the state government.
South Carolina law says that injured workers can generally receive a maximum of 500 weeks of disability payments. However, if a worker has lost the use of more than one body part, or if the worker has sustained a catastrophic injury such as brain damage, they may be able to apply for lifetime disability benefits. Obtaining these benefits can be challenging, though, and you will likely need an attorney’s help if you wish to pursue them.