Workers Compensation Benefits: What You Need to Know after a Work Injury

If you suffer an injury at work, you may be eligible to file a workers compensation claim and receive benefits. This system exists to replace lawsuits and provide injured workers with a simpler way of getting compensation for medical care costs and lost wages. Your best option is to consult with a Beaufort workers comp lawyer and find out if you have a valid claim and what types of workers comp benefits you may collect.

In this article, we will present a general overview of the benefits included in the workers compensation system:

1. Medical Care Costs

One of the key purposes of workers compensation is to ensure that employees who are injured in the course of their job duties get adequate medical care and do not have to pay for it. The entire case is handled through a workers comp insurance company that oversees the entire process.

One important thing you must remember is that you do not have the right to choose your own doctor. The insurance company will assign one of their approved healthcare professionals to your case. If you see your own doctor or any other healthcare provider, the workers comp benefits will not cover these expenses.

Also, even if you were taken to the ER for an emergency treatment and you are referred to a specialist for more investigation and therapies, do not go there before notifying the insurance company. They have to approve the additional treatment. Otherwise, you are responsible for paying all the costs related to it.

2. Wage Replacement

Wage replacement benefits ensure that you can continue paying your bills and covering general expenses while you are recovering from your work injury. However, you will not get your full wages, but 2/3 (or 66%) of your average weekly wage.

Moreover, the maximum amount is capped at the approved compensation rate – $1,093.67 for the year 2024.

Another aspect worth noting is that the workers comp doctor who treats you may state that you are fit for a light-duty position while you recover from your injuries. If your employer gives you such a position, you must accept it, otherwise your benefits will cease and you may be fired.

In this situation, the wage replacement you get from the workers comp insurer will be calculated as 2/3 of the difference between your regular wage and the light-duty position wage.

consult with a lawyer after a workplace injury

When Do You Start Getting Replacement Wages?

When you consult with a Beaufort workers comp lawyer, they will ask how many days passed after the workplace accident. The reason for this is that not every work injury results in wage replacement being paid.

These workers comp benefits kick in only if your injury keeps you from work for at least 7 days. If you suffered minor to average injuries, workers comp will only cover the medical care costs.

3. Permanent Disability Benefits

At a certain point during your treatment, the workers comp doctor will announce that you reached maximum medical improvement. This means that no further treatments can improve your condition. At this point, you may be fully recovered and be able to go to work without any problems.

However, many workers are left with some limitation or disability. They qualify for permanent disability benefits. In order to determine the value of these benefits, the doctor starts by determining your impairment rating.

This is done following a chart included in South Carolina Code of Laws 42-9-30. The chart determines the number of weeks for which the 2/3 wage replacement will continue to be paid to the injured worker. Here are a few examples:

  • Loss of thumb – 65 weeks
  • Loss of big toe – 35 weeks
  • Loss of hand – 108 weeks
  • Loss of eye – 140 weeks

Your Workers Comp Attorney Will Negotiate a Final Settlement for Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are paid as a settlement to finally close the workers comp claim. There are two possibilities of collecting these benefits:

  • Lump sum – you will receive the full amount of remaining workers comp benefits and are responsible to manage it as you wish
  • Structured settlement – you will receive an annual amount for a specific period of time. Once you agree to the schedule, you cannot make any changes to it

Let an Experienced Beaufort Workers Comp Lawyer Help You Win Benefits!

Getting workers comp benefits is never simple and straightforward. Your claim will not be handled by your employer, but an insurance company. These are for-profit businesses, and they usually put their profits above fulfilling their obligations.

You will need an experienced Beaufort working comp lawyer to get your claim approved in the first place. Any small mistake can lead to a denial, so let a skilled attorney guide you during the entire process.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us today at 843-865-8624!

Don't Wait! Contact MCDougall Law Firm Right Away!

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, don't hesitate, contact us today!

Our dedicated and experienced team will fight to get you the maximum compensation