Due to its long-term effects, chronic back pain can be considered a permanent partial disability (PPD) under workers’ compensation in South Carolina. PPD is a workers’ compensation disability level where the injured employee can still go to work, but experiences reduced skill and efficiency compared to before the injury.
Unfortunately, work-related injuries occur frequently, which is why South Carolina employers with more than four employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is meant to cover all reasonable and necessary treatment.
What Qualifies as Chronic Pain?
Cleveland Clinic defines chronic pain as any pain that continues for at least three months after its onset. Chronic back pain is among the most common examples of workplace-related injuries in the United States. It is often caused by overexertion and repetitive motion injuries.
However, some employers and private insurance companies may try to argue chronic back pain does not meet the criteria for PPD. Alternatively, they may suggest you are suffering from a pre-existing condition or that your injury isn’t work-related. An attorney from our firm can help you fight for your right to workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina. Our team can use evidence to show that:
- Your chronic back pain occurred due to a workplace accident or repetitive motion injury; or,
- Your duties aggravated a pre-existing condition.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a safety net meant to cover the medical costs of employees who get injured on the job, no matter how minor. The employer can compensate injured workers in three different ways:
- Through a private insurance company
- Through a state-run department
- By paying the employee directly
Regardless of which method the employer chooses to use, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in South Carolina can be beneficial. Our attorneys can prepare your case, ensure you receive the correct amount of compensation and advocate for you in the event of a claim denial.
Common Injuries That Can Cause Chronic Back Pain
Chronic pain can result from many different types of work injuries. Examples include:
- Slip or trip and falls
- Falls from a height
- Vehicle collisions
- Ruptured disc
How Is the Compensation Amount Determined?
Assigning a monetary figure to an injury is a complex process—even more so when the injury is not visible. To begin the process, a qualified physician must evaluate your injury to determine its severity and required treatment. Then, based on this evaluation, the doctor may assign you a disability rating.
The doctor submits this evaluation to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC) for a final decision on the disability rating. For example, back injuries like chronic back pain often result in an impairment rating of up to 50%, even if you can still go to work.
Based on the rating you receive, the South Carolina Compensation Act may outline a specific number of weeks for which you can collect benefits. For back injuries, it generally provides compensation for up to 300 weeks. The number of weeks along with the compensation rate—usually two-thirds of the average weekly salary—are then used to arrive at the compensation amount.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Chronic back pain can last for months, making it difficult to work or even move around your home. Still, recovering workers’ compensation benefits requires you to meet certain requirements and deadlines. Rather than taking on the application process alone while dealing with this pain, you can hire a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm to prepare your claim and keep it on track. When we represent you, our team can:
- Listen to your account of your injury and resulting chronic pain
- Review any medical records pertaining to the issue
- Ensure you notify your employer of the injury promptly
- File the necessary paperwork to get your claim started
- Explain the requirements for receiving workers’ compensation coverage in South Carolina
- Calculate the wage replacement benefits you should receive based on your average weekly wages and disability rating
- Represent you in any case-related meetings and hearings
- Help you appeal a claim denial if necessary
We aim to alleviate your stress and employ industry best practices to get you the compensation you deserve.
Get Help from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today!
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we have dedicated our professional careers to fighting for victims of injury in South Carolina. In our 40 years of operation, we have helped thousands of workers get compensated for injuries they sustained on the job, relieving their financial burden.
Filing a legal claim is often a complicated and expensive process, which is why our lawyers will handle everything on your behalf. We will also not charge you any legal fees until and only if you receive compensation*. Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation session to discuss the next steps.