A long time ago in American history, employers realized that workers got hurt more than the general public, especially in blue collar-trades like construction, factory work, or similar trades. There was always the possibility of a large jury award bankrupting a company or costing the owners a lot of money. So employers lobbied for changes that would protect them and give them certainty in the event that workers were hurt on the job. In order to strike a compromise, it was decided that in order to guarantee that workers would be compensated for work injuries, the workers would not be allowed to sue their employers. Instead, they would get a predetermined amount of money, depending on the part of their body that was hurt and how badly they were injured.
Sounds like a fair system, right? Unfortunately, over the years it became harder and harder to successfully get employers and their insurance companies to pay even the most valid and serious injury claims. Of course, today it often requires the help of an experienced Anderson, SC workers’ compensation lawyer to get adequate funds in such cases. The Social Security Administration provides a detailed history of the workers’ compensation system.
Many people are happy when they learn that under workers’ compensation rules, it is not necessary to prove that the employer did something wrong. In other words, negligence is not required. Of course, the trade-off is that you get less money than you might get if you pursued a civil action. While this is true, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and the employer’s insurance company often reach conclusions that practically make it appear that negligence is indeed being required. Hence the need for a good Anderson, SC workers’ compensation lawyer.
Unlike a civil case you might bring against someone for being negligent, in the workers’ compensation world, your body is divided into parts and you are paid by schedule. This is a way of charting or diagraming your body. If you are permanently injured but it only affects one part of your body, then you get one amount. If you are temporarily injured, but it affects your whole body, it’s another amount. Therefore, no jury will hear your case, and a jury will not be deciding how much you receive; this has already been largely determined by the state legislature a long time before your injury.
In South Carolina, you have just 90 days to notify your employer of your injury. If you don’t, then you risk forever losing your right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Once you have met the notice requirement, you still just have two years to file your formal claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Otherwise, you lose your rights forever.
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury in South Carolina, the lawyers at Krause, Moorhead & Draisen, P.A. can help to make sure you are receiving the appropriate medical treatment for your injuries and ensure that your injuries are being evaluated properly. Often, we must fight to make sure that injured workers receive the correct classification to get the amount of compensation owed. Call us today to schedule a free consultation, and find out how we can help.
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.