Under South Carolina law, if you are involved in a work-related accident and your employer has four or more employees, you are generally entitled to the following benefits:
1. Temporary Total Benefits
You are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the period of time your doctor holds you out of work completely after the accident.
2. Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If your doctor allows you to return to work part-time, and your employer pays you less than you were making before the accident due to limited time or working ability, you are entitled to two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount you are now grossing.
3. Medical Treatment and Expenses
Your insurance company can choose the doctor for you to see as long as they are providing the necessary and appropriate treatment for you injury. You are entitled to free medical treatment for injury and to have your prescription filled for free.
You are entitled to be paid for mileage in attending doctor’s appointments located further than five miles from your home.
5. Permanent Total Disability or Permanent Partial Disability Once You Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
When you are released from your treating physician, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability or total disability if you have permanent impairment or disability from your work-related injury.
Lawyers are usually contacted and retained because an insurance company is either denying the claim completely or is failing to provide one of the benefits in which a worker is entitled. Workers who are most susceptible to be taken advantage of are those are receiving some benefits but do not realize that they are not receiving the full benefits to which they are entitled. This happens when an insurance company sets the average weekly wage and the compensation rate lower than it is supposed to be because they fail to take into consideration overtime, bonuses and other benefits like second jobs held by the injured employee.
This can also happen when an insurance company tries to settle the permanent portion of an injured worker's claim for an amount less than what he/she is entitled to. Often this is because insurance companies use a doctor's impairment rating as the guideline as what should be paid which is different from the disability rating as determined by worker's compensation law.