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    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 (888) 324-3100 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 and partial wage replacement benefits to make up for any missed workdays while you were recovering from your injuries. Workers can also get compensation for permanent disabilities or permanent disfigurement.  While not a direct workers’ comp benefit, the state of South Carolina provides vocational rehabilitation program. This can help you find a new job if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old line of work.

    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.

    Third-Party Lawsuits Related to Occupational Injuries

    Employees generally cannot sue their employers for on-the-job injuries. This means South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system does not allow injured workers to pursue certain kinds of damages that they might obtain through a personal injury claim. For example, you can’t obtain compensation for pain and suffering damages through a workers’ compensation claim.

    However, if a third party is responsible for your workplace injuries, then you may file a lawsuit against the third party. These lawsuits allow you to pursue additional compensation, including full replacement of lost wages as well as compensation for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish.

    Outside contractors, vendors, and other parties you work with but are not your direct employer are examples of third-party entities that may be liable for your injuries. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to evaluate your accident and determine if you have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

    What Types of Injuries are Common for Office Workers?

    The most common types of injuries among office workers include:

    • Broken or fractured bones
    • Cuts and lacerations
    • Repetitive stress injuries
    • Strains, sprains, and muscle tears
    • Back and spine injuries
    • Electrocution injuries
    • Burns
    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Illness due to workplace conditions

    It is important to emphasize that you must report your injury to your employer within 90 days, according to South Carolina law. Otherwise, you could be barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If your supervisor tries to talk you out of reporting your injury or illness, they are violating the law.

    If you suffered an injury or became ill on the job and your claim is disputed by your employer or the insurance administrator, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Joye Law Firm as soon as possible for help with your claim.

    Common Causes of Injuries for Office Workers

    Some of the most common causes of office injuries include:

    • Loose electrical cords causing workers to trip
    • Workers slipping on spilled liquids
    • Workers tripping on a loose desk or cabinet drawer, or other office equipment
    • Workers falling down stairs because of poor lighting or broken handrails
    • Workers overexerting themselves while lifting heavy objects
    • Head injuries from falling objects
    • Car accidents while driving on the job
    • Electrical accidents due to damaged or poorly maintained equipment
    • Injuries caused by lifting heavy objects or performing repetitive motions

    How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

    Navigating the workers’ compensation claims process in South Carolina can be challenging and stressful, especially as you are trying to recover from a serious injury. To make sure you get the full benefits that you are entitled to by law, consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. Here’s how the workers’ compensation lawyers at the Joye Law Firm can help you:

    • We’ll assist you with filing your initial claim in a timely manner, including gathering all the necessary medical records and other evidence you’ll need
    • We can help you file an appeal if your initial claim is denied
    • If your claim continues to be denied, we can help you file additional appeals with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
    • If there’s an outside party other than your employer who may be liable for your injuries, we’ll investigate fully and help you file a personal injury claim seeking compensation, if appropriate.

    Our workers’ compensation attorneys have been helping injured employees get the workers’ compensation benefits they need for more than five decades. Our legal team knows just how important these benefits are to you and your family. Don’t delay in calling us and getting started on your claim. To speak to one of our lawyers about your on-the-job injury, call (888) 324-3100 or visit our contact page to schedule a free case review.

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