If you were injured on the job in South Carolina, workers’ compensation benefits can help make up for your financial losses while you heal. However, the amount of money you are able to receive depends on a variety of factors. It’s important to understand how the value of your workers’ comp claim is determined based on your injury and state law.
Talk to an attorney at Land Parker Welch LLC. Our law firm is dedicated to helping injured employees recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled after a workplace accident or being diagnosed with an occupational disease.
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What Is Your Average Weekly Wage?
For the purposes of workers’ comp claims, your average weekly wage (AWW) is the average value of your weekly pre-tax earnings for the four fiscal quarters that occurred just before your work injury. The amount of weekly compensation you could receive for your South Carolina workers’ comp claim is directly based on your AWW.
For example, if your work-related injury leaves you totally disabled, you could be entitled to receive two-thirds of your AWW in benefits. However, the maximum amount of compensation you can receive each week is based on South Carolina’s weekly compensation rate limits, which change every year.
If you suffer a permanent total disability, such as partial paralysis or the loss of a limb, you could receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages for as long as 500 weeks. The duration of your wage-loss benefits will continue until you reach the weekly limit or can return to work.
In severe cases, such as those involving permanent brain damage or total paralysis, these benefits may even be available for life.
What Type of On-the-Job Injury Did You Suffer?
If your injury causes a permanent partial disability that eventually allows you to return to work with certain restrictions, South Carolina law provides workers’ comp benefits based on a pre-set schedule. The schedule outlines the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits for injuries affecting certain body parts.
For example, for the loss of an eye, you could be eligible to receive weekly benefits for a period of 140 weeks. If your injury is not included in the schedule of injuries, it is considered unscheduled, and benefit limits are calculated on a case-by-case basis.
What Is Your Impairment Rating?
Your impairment rating is a rating assigned by your doctor that reflects the extent of your disability and how it will affect you in the future. Before doctors can provide an impairment rating in South Carolina, they must first determine that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means that further improvement to your medical condition is not expected.
Your MMI rating directly affects the benefits you could receive for your injury. For example, if your eye injury was assigned a 25 percent impairment rating, you would be eligible for 25 percent of the weekly scheduled benefits for the total loss of an eye. That comes out to 35 weeks of benefits (25 percent of 140 weeks = 35 weeks).
How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Me?
Sometimes, South Carolinians run into trouble obtaining the full and fair workers’ comp benefits they are owed. You shouldn’t have to deal with that stress while you’re hurting. Let a S.C. workers’ compensation lawyer at Land Parker Welch LLC work to secure the maximum possible value of your claim.
Contact us today to learn more in a free initial consultation with our attentive legal team.