Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Columbia, SC
As personal injury attorneys with over 60 years of combined experience in Columbia accidents and injuries, the lawyers at Peake & Fowler have handled numerous cases involving construction accidents and other workplace accidents and on-the-job injuries. In these cases, the proper recourse is not always a negligence claim or lawsuit but may instead be the pursuit of a claim for workers’ compensation. Our firm is experienced in pursuing claims for workers’ comp benefits, including representation at informal conferences, hearings and appeals before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission or in state court.
In many instances, workers’ compensation is the sole recourse for an injured worker to receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages; in most cases, workers are prohibited from suing their employer for damages. The workers’ compensation system was set up as a tradeoff of the ability to sue in exchange for a quick and guaranteed payment without requiring proof of fault. In reality, however, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is neither quick nor guaranteed. In order to be successful, the worker must be able to document the injury with medical evidence and prove the accident was work-related. Meanwhile, employers and their insurance companies may fight hard against the payment of benefits.
At Peake & Fowler, our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys help to make sure your claim is properly filed so that you will get a fair amount of benefits for your illness or injury. We fight employer and insurer objections and appeal denials to the appropriate authority, utilizing our decades of legal experience in personal injury litigation to provide you with aggressive and effective representation. We may advise and represent you in civil litigation as well, in the event your workplace accident was caused by your employer’s reckless or intentional act or the negligence of a third party. Our lawyers take a comprehensive approach to making sure you get all of the compensation available to you, including social security disability benefits where appropriate.
Common Injuries that Happen in the Workplace
All employees run some risk of getting injured on the job, but there are some industries where workplace injuries happen more frequently. These include:
- Oil and Gas
- Power Line/Utilities
- Garbage Collectors
- Commercial Drivers
Workers in these and other dangerous industries are more likely to experience various accidents and injuries while on the job. These include:
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Being hit by, struck against hard objects;
- Muscle strains/overexertion;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Repetitive stress injuries;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Construction accidents;
- Industrial accidents;
- Machinery accidents;
- Electrical accidents;
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Crush injuries/loss of limbs;
- Vehicle crashes and collisions;
- Exposure to toxic substances.
These types of injuries can be serious and sometimes fatal, leaving injured workers and those closest to them with severely diminished income and a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
As mentioned previously, workers’ comp benefits cover all necessary medical expenses for an injured worker, along with two-thirds of their average gross weekly wage for the time missed from work. There is a cap on the amount of weekly pay a worker can receive, which is adjusted annually, and if an employee is able to come back to work but not perform all of the duties they were able to before the injury, then they receive two-thirds of the difference in pay between the wage they received before and after their work-related injury.
If an employee is found to have a permanent disability that stems from their workplace injury, then they would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for life. This could be for a permanent total disability in which the worker is no longer able to participate in any type of gainful activity, or it could be a permanent partial disability in which the employee can still do some limited work, but they are not able to return to their previous job. The benefits the employee is eligible to receive are calculated based on the type and severity of the disability.
There are some additional expenses that can be covered by workers’ comp insurance. These include:
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctor appointments;
- Vocational training for a new position if the employee cannot go back to their previous job;
- Funeral and burial costs for loved ones of a worker who is killed on the job.
Workers’ compensation is very helpful in recovering reimbursement for direct economic losses that an injured employee suffers, but unfortunately, it does not allow for the recovery of noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, and diminished quality of life.
Was your Workplace Injury Caused by a Third Party?
Although you may not be able to sue your employer directly, there are many instances in which it might be possible to bring a personal injury claim against another party that was responsible for the accident.
Examples of scenarios when a third party might be at fault for a work-related accident include:
- A subcontractor that is working nearby an employee causes the accident or contributes to it;
- An employee is out driving while on the clock picking up supplies or making a work-related delivery and another vehicle crashes into them;
- An employee is injured in a slip and fall accident while attending a work-related function off-site;
- An employee is injured by a piece of defective machinery or equipment that malfunctions while they are operating it.
If any of these situations are similar to what you experienced and/or you believe another party might be liable or your workplace accident, get in touch with us right away for a thorough evaluation of your case. The sooner you get an experienced attorney involved, the better your chances of successfully pursuing every potential legal avenue for recovering maximum compensation.
Contact our Knowledgeable and Compassionate South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you or someone close to you has suffered a work-related injury or illness in South Carolina, you have the right to benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. You may also have the right to recover damages over and above what is available through workers’ comp if a third party was involved in the accident or event. Recovering the compensation that you are due is not always easy, however, and employers often put up unnecessary roadblocks designed to frustrate workers into giving up.
At Peake & Fowler, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll workplace injuries take on workers and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our Columbia, SC office today at 803-788-4370. We look forward to serving you!
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.