In Part I of this overview, we discussed some of the basics of workers’ compensation law in South Carolina. In Part II of this overview, we will continue to discuss the different types of recovery an employee can expect from an employer’s workers’ compensation policy and how compensation amounts are determined. For details more catered to your specific situation, it is important to speak to an attorney.
Reimbursement for Medical Costs
When an employee reports an injury to their employer, the employer or its insurance company should be prepared to pay for the employee’s medical costs related to the injury. This will include the doctor’s visits, prescription costs, physical therapy and surgery costs. An employer is able to choose the physicians that provide the care, so it is important to note that an employee can prevent themselves from receiving the compensation they deserve if they do not receive treatment from any of the physicians specified by their employer, if their employer elects to do so.
There are two types of permanent disability, partial and total. Compensation varies based on the extent of the injuries and is determined by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, which takes medical records, testimony, and the potential impact of the employee’s disability on their ability to perform their job.
- Permanent Partial Disability
An employee is considered to have a permanent disability if they have a disfigurement or non-surgical scar that is visible from eight feet away. Payments for this type of disability are called permanent partial disability (PPD) payments.
- Total Disability
For obvious reasons, the term “total disability” is a narrow one in South Carolina. Any employee who has lost both hands, feets, arms, etc. or lost vision in both eyes or a combination of any of the aforementioned is considered totally and permanently disabled. The compensation for total permanent disability can last for up to 500 weeks while certain types of injured employees such as paraplegics or those with brain damage may be entitled to permanent benefits. The following is per South Carolina Code of Laws 42-9-10:
The severity of an employee’s disability is rated by percentage, which aligns with the compensation amount provided for the disability. For example, a permanent disability of less severity, like a hand injury that is permanent but does not render the hand useless, may be considered a 10 percent or 20 percent, while a missing limb is likely more of a 70 or 80 percent. This percentage will be a multiplied by the employee’s weekly wage amount for a total weekly compensation amount. The number of weeks the employee is paid for is determined by the injury (i.e. which limb is lost).
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Represent You
It is important to understand what South Carolina law says about how, when, why, and how much an employee can recover from their employer for injuries they have incurred in the workplace. Even more important is the need to ensure that your case is in the best hands to ensure that your compensation from your employer is adequate for your needs. The South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Workers Compensation Lawyers- PLLC can work to protect your needs when recovering workers’ compensation insurance from your employer is essential.