If you were hurt on the job, the first step to seeking benefits is to go to a qualified physician who can provide you with the medical attention you need. It is important to choose a doctor approved by your employer to receive workers’ compensation income and medical benefits.
If your injuries require emergency room treatment, this may also be covered under workers’ compensation. Your doctor will assess your level of injury to determine your level of impairment. Our South Carolina impairment rating disability lawyers can help you file your claim.
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How Is Disability Determined?
Disabilities are assessed using an outside set of qualifications, such as the “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” by the American Medical Association. This allows the physician to come up with an impairment rating for you. An attorney from our firm can translate this rating into an estimate of how much workers’ compensation you should receive.
Although these guidelines are supposed to make the process more objective, these decisions are difficult to make because everyone’s injury is different.
The doctor will give you an “impairment rating” based on your ability to function normally and participate in various daily living activities. For example, your disability could affect your ability to:
- Communicate with others
However, it is impossible to put a number on how much any given injury will impact an individual’s life. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we understand this. That is why each workers’ compensation attorney at our firm is committed to fighting for the rights of our injured clients, knowing that each client is unique.
We want to make sure you seek a fair recovery so you can focus on getting better.
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Meeting With South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission
After your doctor assesses you and assigns an impairment rating, your employer’s insurance provider may request a conference.
You, a representative from your employer’s insurer, and a commissioner from South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission will discuss your rating during this meeting. The Commission will then determine how much compensation you should receive.
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Disability Benefits You May Receive
Depending on the extent of your injuries and how they affect your ability to work, you may qualify for one or more of several types of benefits. It can be difficult to understand which benefits apply in your case, but our lawyers can help.
Temporary Total Disability
If you suffered an injury that kept you out of work entirely throughout your recovery, you could receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits award you about 2/3 of your average weekly wages for up to 500 weeks. If you reach maximum medical improvement or your doctor determines you can return to work, your benefits will expire.
Permanent Total Disability
If you suffered a permanent disability, such as a loss of limb, you could receive permanent total disability benefits. These benefits pay 2/3 of your average pay for up to 500 weeks. Your benefits will apply for life only if your injuries result in severe impairment, such as paralysis.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Some workplace injuries are not severe enough to keep an employee from working, but they may affect the amount of money they can make.
For example, if you suffered a back injury, you may not be able to stand for a long period, and you may only be able to do light physical labor. If this is the case, temporary partial disability benefits may apply.
The same 2/3 wage compensation rate comes into play, but there is a 340-week limit for temporary partial disability benefits. If you received other disability benefits beforehand, those weeks would not count toward the 340-week limit.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you suffered a permanent loss of ability in a body part because of your workplace injury or illness, you could be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits.
The criteria for the loss of use of a body part can be confusing, and the state uses a complicated system to assign a percentage of loss in your claim. Regardless of the type of benefits you are seeking; your impairment rating will play a significant role.
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How Our Firm Can Help
Our lawyers serving South Carolina can teach you about how your impairment rating will affect your disability benefits. We can also guide you through the claim process, assuming all the paperwork and communications with insurers.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer may investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate for fair compensation. They can also speak with your doctors to better understand the extent of your injuries.
Your medical records support the impairment rating you received, and we can help identify any discrepancies that may have occurred during your claim.
Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments and Follow Your Treatment Plan
Since your claim hinges on your impairment rating, you will want to prioritize seeing your doctor and following their recommendations. Do not miss your appointments or cease medical care altogether. This could lead an insurer to deny your claim or halt your benefits.
You will need to keep seeing your doctor as long as you are receiving disability benefits. Your doctor will keep track of your progress and determine when you have reached maximum medical recovery.
If your doctor orders you back to work, make sure to follow their instructions. They may only recommend you work a certain amount of hours and perform certain tasks. You do not want to risk further injury upon your return to the workplace.
Our Legal Services Are Affordable for Injured Workers in South Carolina
We understand that you may have concerns about hiring a lawyer. Our firm does not want to add to your financial strain, so we work on a contingency-fee basis. If our lawyers cannot recover compensation for you, we will not charge you.
You can start your case with no out-of-pocket expenses, too. This allows us to make the most of your time and file your workers’ compensation claim within the deadline.
We’ll Meet with You Anywhere in South Carolina
If you are injured and can’t come to one of our offices throughout the state, we will come to you! Whether you would rather talk to us in the comfort of your home, your hospital room, or over the phone, we are committed to helping you in every way we can.
Work with Us After Suffering Injuries in a South Carolina Workplace Accident
Getting the impairment rating and workers’ compensation disability benefits you deserve can be complicated. We understand how important your financial stability is during this tough time. Our South Carolina lawyers want to make the claim process as quick and easy for you as possible.
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