Get Answers to These FAQs We Hear the Most
We know how many questions you must have right now about your personal injury or workers' comp case, so we compiled this list of the questions we hear the most. If you have a question that is not answered here, please call our Columbia law office to speak with Kenneth Berger.
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In South Carolina, Does Workers' Comp Pay For the Costs of My Future Medical Treatment?
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law requires the insurance company to provide payment for the costs of future medical treatment arising from your on the job injury. When your treating doctor concludes that you are not getting any better or any worse, but have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), he/she will give an opinion as to whether or not you need additional treatment. Oftentimes, the doctor’s opinion as to future medical care is listed on his/her progress note or release to work form. In other instances, the treating doctor will complete what is known as a Form 14-B, on which the doctor will state whether you have additional medical needs. For example, your doctor may say you need further injections, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, or even surgery.
Payment Options For Future Medical Treatment After Work Injury
Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier then has a decision to make. They can “leave the medicals open” and pay for your future treatment as needed, or they can “clincher” your claim. A clincher agreement means that instead of paying for future doctors’ visits and treatment, the insurance carrier pays you more money up front. In return for paying you more money on the front end, they get to close (i.e. clincher) the case.
Injured workers with health insurance, and whose medical needs are relatively limited, often choose to clincher their claim and get more money on the front end. Conversely, injured workers who do not have health insurance, and may require significant future care, probably benefit from leaving the medicals open and allowing the workers’ compensation carrier to pay for their treatment.
Call Us Today About Your Workers' Comp Benefits Questions
If you have questions about the workers' compensation benefits you should receive for future medical costs arising from a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim, I am here to help. Call us today at (803) 790-2800 or use the live chat box below to contact us now.
Can I Receive Workers' Comp for Carpal Tunnel in South Carolina?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is often the result of repetitive trauma. In South Carolina, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if we establish that it is related to your job. For instance, a machine operator and administrative workers often perform the same function over and over. Whether it is testing a product, making sure a machine is functioning properly, or using a keyboard for hours on end, the repetitive trauma to your hands, wrist, and elbow can result in CTS. Some doctors take the position that keyboard use does not cause CTS. I believe those doctors are wrong.
You Must Report CTS to Receive Workers' Comp Benefits
If you think that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is related to your work duties, you must report the injury to your employer within 90 days. More specifically, you only have 90 days from the time you first believe your pain to be work- related to report the pain/injury to a supervisor. If you do not meet this notice requirement, you cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits even if a doctor relates CTS to your work duties.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Workers Comp Claim for Carpal Tunnel
If you are facing resistance from your employer about your workers comp claim, my firm is here to help you recover workers’ compensation benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Be it a free consultation, a free copy of my books, or representing your interests and protecting your rights, please know that if you have questions, I am here to answer them. Call me today at (803) 790-2800 or contact us using the live chat box below. While our office is in Columbia, South Carolina, we handle workers’ compensation cases across the state.
Do I Continue to Receive My SC Workers' Comp Check After the Doctor Releases Me to Light Duty?
When a doctor releases an injured worker in South Carolina to light duty, the employer is given the opportunity to accommodate the physical restrictions. However, if the employer cannot offer light duty work within the prescribed restrictions, the employee will continue receiving a weekly workers' compensation check.
For instance, if you underwent shoulder surgery and have been released to light duty with a restriction of no lifting greater than 5 pounds, your employer may either provide light duty work or allow you to continue receiving a weekly check for 2/3s the amount of your previous pre-tax wages.
Reduced Light Duty Wages After Work Injury
In many cases, someone will return to light duty, yet not make as much money as they did before the injury. When this happens, you are entitled to 2/3s of the difference between your wages before the accident and your post-accident wages. This situation may arise due to a reduction in your number of hours (e.g. no overtime) or a decrease in your hourly pay. Regardless of the circumstances, you should receive a weekly check for 2/3s of the difference in earnings.
Should your employer be able to accommodate the physical restrictions your doctor prescribed, you are required to return to work or risk forfeiting your workers' compensation benefits. Most injured people grow tired of being out of work and look forward to returning to their job.
Call a SC Workers' Comp Lawyer to Protect Your Legal Rights
South Carolina's workers' compensation laws are nuanced. When it comes to protecting your health and your rights, you do not have to take on the company, their insurance carrier, or the workers' comp commission by yourself. If your doctor has placed you on light duty, and you have questions about your South Carolina workers' compensation benefits, I am here to help. Call me today at 803-790-2800 or reach out to us by using the live chat option box below.
How Much Money Should Workers' Comp Pay You for an On the Job Brain Injury in South Carolina?
On the job brain injuries are a common occurrence in Columbia and other parts of South Carolina. When an employee sustains a head injury, the first concern is proper medical treatment and payment for time missed from work. Employees and their families also want to know how much money they should receive from workers' compensation at the end of the case.
If Your Brain Injury Prevents You From Working...
In cases of severe, life-altering brain injuries, an injured worker may be entitled to workers comp benefits for the rest of his or her life. Put differently, if the traumatic brain injury (TBI) will prevent the individual from ever working again, the workers' compensation insurance company will likely have to provide lifetime benefits.
If You're Able to Return to Work After Your Brain Injury...
In cases where an employee sustains a head injury at work, but will be able to return to the job in a matter of weeks or months, the insurance company will still be responsible for all medical treatment related to the TBI, though the amount of compensation they have to pay for any permanent injury to the brain will be between 0-250 weeks (i.e. up to 250 x the amount of your weekly workers' compensation check).
A Workers' Comp Attorney Can Help Answer Your Questions
If you have questions about workers' comp or the benefits you should be receiving, call my Columbia personal injury firm at 803-790-2800 or reach out to us by using the live chat box below. I handle brain injury cases throughout South Carolina, and would be honored to answer your questions.
What Happens if My Company Terminates Me While I am Out on Workers' Comp in South Carolina?
You Cannot Be Fired for Filing a Workers' Comp Claim in SC
Many people fear they will get fired if they pursue a workers’ compensation case in South Carolina. Other people are concerned their boss will simply "let them go" if they can’t work because of the injury. In either situation, South Carolina law protects your rights. You cannot be legally terminated as punishment for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. If an employer wrongfully terminated someone on this basis, they would be liable not only for the workers’ compensation claim, but also for a civil lawsuit. Even though South Carolina is a “right to work” state, you cannot be punished for lawfully seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Collecting Workers Compensation Checks After Being Let Go
South Carolina law also states that your employer must either accommodate your physical restrictions or provide you a weekly check should the work injury prevent you from performing full duty. If a doctor puts physical restrictions on you (i.e. places you on light duty), your boss can either comply with the restrictions or have their insurance company send you a weekly check.
In the event your company "let’s you go" because you are physically unable to perform your job while out on workers’ comp, they will have to provide you with weekly checks until a doctor releases you from his/her care. In these instances, you would begin receiving a weekly workers’ compensation check, or temporary total disability (TTD) payments, equal to 2/3s of your pre-tax earnings. For instance, if you grossed $750 weekly before you got hurt, you would receive a $500 check every week from the time you were fired until a doctor placed you at what is known as “maximum medical improvement.”
Your Benefits Continue Even If Your Boss Fires You
In sum, please know that your workers' compensation benefits continue even if your boss fires you during the pendency of your claim. With that said, I strongly encourage you to be a model employee. You do not want to give your employer any excuse to let you go, or any evidence of insubordination. Should you have other questions about your rights under South Carolina's workers’ compensation system, call me at (803) 790-2800 or start a live chat using the chat box below.
Can I Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits in South Carolina if I Fail My Drug Test?
A Positive Drug Test Will Not Prevent You From Receiving Workers' Comp Benefits
Workers’ compensation in South Carolina does not factor in negligence - be it on the part of the employee or the employer. In other words, even if the on the job injury was a result of the employee’s negligence, the employee may still be eligible for benefits. Likewise, a positive drug test will not prevent you from receiving workers' compensation benefits unless the employer can prove that you were intoxicated and that your intoxication caused your accident.
For example, a construction worker may have smoked marijuana on Saturday then fallen off a roof on Tuesday. His drug test may come back positive. However, the employer would have the burden of proving that the marijuana the construction worker smoked on Saturday caused him to fall off the roof three days later. While your company might rightfully fire someone for a positive drug test, they cannot dismiss your workers' comp claim without proving that your injury was due to intoxication.
Call a Workers' Comp Attorney to Protect Your Rights in South Carolina
Though we in no way condone drug use, we are here to protect injured workers' rights. If your employer told you that you were ineligible for South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits because of a failed drug test, call me today at (803) 790-2800 or contact us by using the live chat box below. Everything we discuss will be 100% confidential.
Which Doctor Should I See if I Sustained a Concussion from a Car Wreck in South Carolina?
Car accidents send South Carolinians to the hospital with concussions every day. The emergency room doctors often perform CT scans, or even MRIs, before telling the injured person he/she has received a concussion, and to follow up with a family doctor if symptoms persist. You may have been one of those people. If so, you probably went to your primary care doctor, told him/her that you were having headaches, nausea, or problems with dizziness, only to be informed that these symptoms were normal. In many cases, your doctor is right. The problem, however, is that in some cases, these symptoms don't go away after a couple weeks.
Seeing a Neurologist After Sustaining a Concussion
If you were in an auto accident, and are still dealing with post-concussive syndrome (PCS) several weeks or months after the wreck, you don't just need a lawyer, you probably need a referral to a neurologist. Simply put, neurologists focus on the brain. A good neurologist will take time to discuss how your injury occurred, the problems you have experienced, and whether you should undergo additional testing. A negative CT or MRI does not mean your brain is 100%. CTs and MRIs often fail to detect injury to the axons (white matter), which carry messages throughout the brain. If your neurologist is unwilling to listen to your complaints, or appears dismissive of your injury, I encourage you to seek a second opinion.
A good neurologist will often times refer you to a neuropsychologist or other specialist if you remain symptomatic for more than a few months. Any type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), including a concussion, should be taken seriously by your doctor. I handle TBI cases, and will gladly discuss treatment options with you, as I am familiar with the hardships concussion victims experience, and the frustration they feel when it does not seem like anyone is listening to them.
An Advocate for People with TBIs in South Carolina
If you experienced a concussion due to a car accident in Lexington, Columbia, Orangeburg, or elsewhere in South Carolina, I am here to help. I am not only an attorney, but an advocate for TBI victims and a supporter of the SC Brain Injury Association. Call me today at (803) 790-2800 or you can contact us by using the live chat feature below. I look forward to speaking with you.
How Much Compensation Should I Receive For The Concussion I Received in a Car Wreck?
Concussions are a common consequence of auto accidents in South Carolina. Whether it is a rear-end, head-on, or T-bone collision, your head can get thrown around inside the car, striking the headrest, steering wheel, or window. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and for the first time in history, they are being treated as seriously as they should have been all along.
How is Compensation for a Concussion Determined?
Concussions often result in headaches, nausea, light-sensitivity, dizziness, and balance problems. In some cases, these symptoms last for 2-3 weeks. In other instances, the problems can take months or years to resolve. South Carolina law is intended to compensate car wreck victims for their physical pain, suffering, and lost quality of life - in addition to their purely financial losses. I take the position that your lost quality of life often demands more compensation than your medical bills, as medical bills can be paid, but your lost time can never be returned. In this way, the compensation you receive for a concussion cannot fix the harm, but it can begin to balance it out. You must ask yourself how much compensation is necessary to balance out your lost days, weeks, or months.
So, if you're looking for exact figures when it comes to your concussion settlement, unfortunately, all I can say is, "It depends." Every case is different, and your settlement will rely on a number of factors that are specific to your injury.
A Head Injury Lawyer Can Answer Your Questions
If you need help answering questions about your head injury, feel free to contact me at (803) 790-2800 or by using the live chat feature below. I won't charge you a dime to simply answers questions. I help people who have sustained concussions as a result of car wrecks in Columbia, Lexington, Sumter, and across South Carolina. TBIs must be taken seriously not only by medical providers, but by the insurance company responsible for compensating you. Please let me know what I can do for you.
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in South Carolina?
What is a Contingency Fee?
Most personal injury attorneys in Columbia, Lexington, and throughout South Carolina, charge 33%-40% based on the amount of compensation they obtain for you. This is known as a "contingency fee" because it is contingent upon the value of your settlement or jury award. For instance, if we obtained a $100,000.00 settlement for you, our fee would be $33,000.00-$38,000.00 (I cap my fees at 38% in almost all cases), depending on whether a lawsuit was required. However, you would not pay us a dime until the end of the case.
Our Lawyer Fee Does Not Exceed What Our Client Receives
We have an unwritten rule at our firm that goes like this: our fee will not exceed what our client receives. Even if the contract says we are entitled to 33% of the settlement funds, we will reduce our fee to make sure the injured person nets more than we do. Fact is: you're the one who got hurt; we are just privileged enough to represent you. Clients need us to obtain fair results, but we need them to make a living. In that way, we remember who comes first.
If someone wants to charge you a "retainer fee" or "hourly rate," I'd start looking for new counsel. Likewise, remember that not all South Carolina personal injury lawyers have the same qualifications or track record of results. An attorney who charges only 25%, but gets you only $25,000.00 is not as valuable as the attorney who charges 35% but gets you $50,000.00.
Schedule a Free Consultation with My Personal Injury Firm Today
If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer, you can call my office today at (803) 790-2800 to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Columbia, SC, but our central location allows us to help clients in Lexington, Greenville, Orangeburg, and across the entire state. We look forward to speaking with you and seeing how we can help.
What is a Covenant Not to Execute Judgment?
South Carolina car accidents are often settled by way of a "Release." In other instances, a Covenant Not to Execute Judgment ("Covenant") is preferable. A Covenant is used in cases where you want to collect funds from the at-fault driver's liability policy, but preserve the right to seek compensation from other insurance policies.
How A Covenant Not to Execute Works
For instance, if the at-fault driver only has $50,000.00 in insurance coverage, but you have $100,000.00 in medical bills, you will want to file an underinsured motorist ("UIM") claim with your auto insurance company. By signing the Covenant, you can go ahead and obtain the $50,000.00 from the at-fault driver's liability policy, then seek additional funds from your UIM policy. In return for the $50,000.00, you covenant (i.e. promise) not to execute any judgment against the at-fault driver. In other words, you promise not to go after the at-fault driver's personal assets.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Wreck
The subtle difference in wording between a Release and a Covenant can have a huge difference on the amount of money you recover. Rather than trying to sort through the legalese by yourself, I encourage you to at least consult with a South Carolina attorney before signing anything.
Contact Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyer Kenny Berger
If you would like help reviewing a Covenant to ensure your rights are protected - or to find out whether additional compensation may be recovered from another insurance company - call me at (803) 790-2800. All consultations are free. For even more information relevant to your car accident claim, download my free guide to South Carolina auto accidents. It's full of helpful advice and tips to consider when pursuing an auto claim in South Carolina.