Workplace accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and life-threatening conditions. Many workers recover from their on-the-job injuries and return to work. However, some employees sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. It is crucial that injured workers receive all the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve.
However, some workers could be entitled to additional compensation for their workplace injury. They could receive full compensation for all damages instead of the limited benefits available under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system.
Talking with a Myrtle Beach workers’ comp attorney can ensure that you are pursuing all benefits and compensation available for your workplace injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system most injuries and illnesses that occur on the job. If an employee sustains an injury in a covered accident, the worker could recover South Carolina workers’ comp benefits such as:
- Income benefits (2/3 of their average weekly wage why they are unable to work)
- Paid medical treatment and care
- Travel expenses to and from doctor vehicles
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. An injured employee does not need to prove that the employer was negligent to recover benefits. In a negligence claim, the worker would need to prove the employer was negligent before receiving compensation for an injury or workplace illness.
One of the drawbacks of the workers’ comp system is that an injured worker is generally not allowed to sue an employer for a covered injury. That means the worker will not receive full compensation for all damages for a workplace injury.
However, there are exceptions.
Third Party Claims for Workplace Injuries and Accidents
Injured workers do not receive full compensation for their losses under workers’ compensation. For example, an injured employee who cannot work only receives 2/3 of their average weekly wage instead of reimbursement for all income losses.
Additionally, if the worker sustains a permanent injury, workers' comp statutes limit the compensation the worker receives. The worker may receive just a small portion of the compensation they would receive to if they could file a personal injury lawsuit for the same disabling condition.
Workers’ compensation does not cover any non-economic losses. Therefore, an injured employee does not receive any compensation for their physical pain or emotional suffering. They do not receive compensation for mental anguish or a reduction in their quality of life.
However, an injured worker may be able to recover additional compensation by filing a third party claim. If another party was negligent or committed intentional wrongdoing that caused the injury, the worker may recover money from a third party claim.
For example, if a defective power saw caused the worker’s injury, the worker could sue the saw’s manufacturer for damages under a product liability claim. Likewise, suppose a distracted driver causes a car accident that injures a worker while the worker is on the job. In that case, the worker could sue the driver for additional damages not covered by worker’s compensation.
In a few cases, the worker could sue an employer. If an employer is grossly negligent or intentionally causes a worker’s injury, the employer could be liable for damages beyond a claim for workers’ comp benefits.
Call Our Myrtle Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Morris Law Firm, we work with injured employees and their families. We want to ensure they receive all compensation they are entitled to receive for a workplace injury.
Call our office now to schedule your free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Myrtle Beach.