Injury Entitlements

shutterstock_93542683An employee may expect compensation for personal injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment. Workers’ compensation pays for necessary medical treatment, loss of wages during a period of disability and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. If an employee is injured and unable to work for more than seven (7) days, he or she is eligible to be compensated at a rate of 66 ⅔ % of the employee’s average weekly wage, limited to the state’s average weekly wage as established each year. If the period of total disability exceeds fourteen (14) days, the employee is eligible for compensation beginning with the date of the accident. If you are out of work for 12 days you are entitled to payment for days 8 -12, but not the first seven. You may use sick or vacation to compensate for those days. If you are employed by the State of South Carolina you may be given the option to exhaust sick and annual leave before using workers’ compensation. It is advised that you consult with counsel before selecting and of these options. We would be glad to speak with you about this. Call Spann Wilder Law at (843) 266-7792 or 1-800-866-3830.

The maximum award for total disability or death is limited by law to five hundred (500) weeks of compensation, except in a few circumstances such as the person being a paraplegic, quadraplegic or having physical brain damage. In these instances, a Claimant is entitled to benefits for their lifetime. The rate of compensation is determined by the injured employee’s average weekly wage and cannot exceed 100% of the state’s average weekly wage. The loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, or vision in both eyes, or a combination of two such losses, shall constitute total and permanent disability. In addition, a commissioner can make other disability determinations based on the particular loss or impairment to the whole person.

Amounts of compensation for partial disability or disfigurement are generally established and limited by statute or Commission regulation. Awards are usually made in terms of the number of weeks of compensation to which the employee is entitled based on the extent of the disabling injury. Every body part has a maximum number of weeks for payment.

In South Carolina, the disability or death of an employee resulting from an occupational disease is treated as an injury by accident, and the employee, or in the case of death, the deceased’s dependents, may be entitled to compensation. A disease may be recognized as an occupational disease only if it is caused by a hazard recognized as peculiar to a particular trade, process, occupation, or employment as a direct result of continuous exposure to normal working conditions. In addition to occupational diseases, injury from harmful exposures to ionizing radiation is also defined for particular attention under the workers’ compensation act.