Each year, tens of thousands of people are hurt at work in South Carolina. Every injury can be painful and expensive, but not every injury is the same. While we commonly think of broken bones, burns, and overexertion work injuries, there are other less common injuries that are just as severe and result in workers' compensation claims.
An experienced Myrtle Beach workers' compensation lawyer at the Derrick Law Firm understands the complexities of South Carolina workers' compensation law and will fight for the fair recovery you deserve even if you suffer an on-the-job injury that is hard to prove was a work-related injury.
Three Unusual Work-Related Injuries That May Qualify for Workers' Compensation
Heart attack, stroke, and mental health conditions occur for many reasons. It can be challenging to prove that work related activities caused these serious medical conditions. However, in some circumstances, a Myrtle Beach workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you pursue a workers' compensation claim.
Heart Attack and Stroke
Heart attack and stroke are medical emergencies that may occur any time of the day or night and in any location, including while an employee is working. Sometimes, these conditions occur because of natural causes and the worker just happens to be on the job. In other cases, the heart attack or stroke occurred for work-related reasons.
Our experienced Myrtle Beach workers' compensation lawyers will always be honest and straightforward with you. It is often difficult to get workers' compensation benefits after a heart attack or stroke, but it is possible if two conditions are met:
- The employee must have been subjected to either "unusual or extraordinary physical exertion, violence or strain in the course of the employment, or to unusual and extraordinary conditions of his employment."
- You must prove "that a causal connection existed between this exertion, violence, strain, or unusual conditions to the claimant's heart attack or stroke."
Many mental health issues arise for reasons that are not work-related. However, if a Myrtle Beach, SC employee suffers mental injuries brought on by "emotional stimuli or stressors" in the workplace, their injuries may be covered by workers' compensation.
Mental injuries are compensable if they are "induced by physical injury…or by unusual or extraordinary conditions of employment."
Stress that occurs from normal working conditions is not covered. Some standard events that are not considered extraordinary causes of stress include, but are not limited to: "work evaluations, transfers, promotions, demotions, salary reviews, or terminations, except when these actions are taken in an extraordinary and unusual manner."
Unusual Industry-Specific Injuries That May Qualify for South Carolina Workers' Compensation
Workplace injuries can vary widely depending on the type of job, industry, and specific hazards present in the work environment. While many workplace injuries are common, other injuries can be unique to certain professions or circumstances. Below, we explore a few unusual industry-specific injuries that could result in workers' compensation benefits.
Musculoskeletal Injuries in Musicians
Musicians, especially those who play instruments like the violin or cello, can develop unique musculoskeletal injuries, including conditions like "fiddler's neck" or "cellist's chest." These injuries result from the repetitive motions and prolonged periods of playing these instruments and may result in a successful workers' compensation claim.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) for Office Workers
Office workers who spend long hours staring at computer screens can develop CVS, which includes symptoms like eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. While not a traditional injury, it is a unique health concern associated with office work that may require time off from work.
Vibration White Finger (Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome) in Construction and Manufacturing
Workers frequently using vibrating tools, such as jackhammers or chainsaws, can develop hand-arm vibration syndrome. This condition can cause numbness, tingling, and reduced hand dexterity. If you suffer from vibration white finger, we encourage you to contact a workers' compensation lawyer to discuss filing a workers' compensation claim.
Dental Hygienists' "Hygiene Neck"
Dental hygienists often lean over patients for extended periods, which can lead to neck and back problems over time, sometimes referred to as "hygiene neck."
Zookeeper and Animal Trainer Injuries
Professionals who work with animals in zoos or as trainers may be at risk for unique injuries, such as bites, scratches, and injuries resulting from animal behavior. Workers compensation laws may apply in some circumstances.
Actors and stunt performers in the entertainment industry can suffer unique injuries while performing high-risk stunts, such as falls, explosions, or fight sequences. Not all Myrtle Beach, SC performers will be eligible to file workers' compensation claims, but it is worth contacting a workers' compensation lawyer to discuss your options.
Extreme Sports and Adventure Tourism Injuries
Guides and participants in extreme sports and adventure tourism may experience unique injuries related to activities like rock climbing, white-water rafting, or skydiving. In some cases, an injured tourism employee may be able to file a workers' compensation claim.
These examples illustrate that workplace injuries can be diverse and often depend on the specific tasks and environments in which individuals work.
Common Accidents Can Cause Uncommon Injuries
Your injury is unique regardless of how it happens. Some common causes of Myrtle Beach work accidents that result in both common and unusual injuries include:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls commonly cause injuries at work. In Horry County, the top employers are hospitals, schools, and grocery stores. At these locations, workers are especially at risk for these types of accidents. Constant foot traffic and the need for workers to transport both people and goods can create hazards. Food service workers should also be aware of the dangers as they navigate crowded restaurants, especially during the busy tourist season.
In Myrtle Beach, with the steady stream of visitors on unfamiliar roads, all drivers should be cautious behind the wheel. While those who make deliveries or visit job sites are frequent victims of traffic accidents, any employee who travels on work-related business could be eligible for workers' compensation benefits related to a crash.
Many employees spend their days at work performing similar tasks over and over. Repeated bending, lifting, pulling, and even typing can lead to injury.
Overexertion occurs when the body is pushed past its physical limits. The body breaks down and is more susceptible to injury.
South Carolina is home to many manufacturers. Workers in this industry should be aware of the dangers of machinery accidents, which can include getting caught in, pinned against, or struck by elements of a machine.
What to Do If You've Suffered an Injury on the Job in Myrtle Beach
South Carolina law states that an employee who suffers an injury or illness arising out of or in the course of employment has a right to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include medical care, wage replacement, permanent partial disability benefits, total disability benefits, and more. If you suffered a work-related injury, protecting your rights to those benefits is essential. Similarly, if your loved one died, you may be entitled to recover workers' compensation death benefits if you file a claim.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer as Soon as Possible
Injured workers must report their job related injury to their employer within 90 days of the accident or 90 days of discovering the condition.
Many Myrtle Beach employers will have an incident report form that needs to be filled out. Make sure to provide accurate details about the injury, including when, where, and how it occurred.
Seek Medical Care
Injured workers should seek medical treatment for their injuries as soon as possible. In South Carolina, employers will choose the medical provider unless the worker experiences a serious injury that requires immediate emergency care, which may be the case if you suffer a heart attack, stroke, or critical mental health issue.
Comply with your health care provider's instructions for treatment, follow-up appointments, and any recommended restrictions or accommodations related to your injury.
Keep a record of all documents related to your personal injury, including medical records, prescriptions, bills, and any communication with your employer, insurance company, or the workers' compensation commission.
Consult with a Workers' Compensation Attorney
A workers' compensation lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly according to South Carolina workers' compensation laws if you suffer on the job injuries. You won't have to wonder whether you are making the right decisions, and you will be able to concentrate on your physical recovery while your workers' compensation lawyer fights for the benefits you deserve, including lost wages and health care costs, until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement.