South Carolina is home to many industrial sectors. Although this provides employment opportunities and helps promote a thriving economy, it also exposes employees to some serious dangers and health risks. One of the most common risks that South Carolina workers face each day is toxic chemical exposure. In some cases, the exposure leads to temporary injuries and conditions that eventually subside. In other more serious instances, the injuries may be permanent or even fatal. If you have suffered an injury resulting from a toxic chemical while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At the Patrick E. Knie Law Offices, our Greenville and Spartanburg work injury attorney has represented numerous injured employees in filing a benefits claim with their employer’s insurance company.Bringing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Based on Toxic Chemicals
It may be difficult to bring a toxic chemical exposure claim in the workers’ compensation context. Many insurance companies will spend a great deal of time and resources fighting the claim and denying the extent of the alleged injuries. Making matters more difficult, the health problems associated with toxic chemical exposure often do not manifest until long after the exposure. Some common examples are asbestosis and mesothelioma, which take some time to develop. Textile mill workers also routinely suffer from brown lung disease, which is contracted by inhaling cotton fibers on a routine basis. Since the symptoms associated with these conditions might also be associated with a variety of other medical conditions, it may be difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis in a timely fashion. Other conditions resulting from toxic chemical exposure include asthma, cancer, tumors, and organ or nerve damage.
If you suspect that your health issue or injury is related to on-the-job toxic chemical exposure, the first thing that you should do is to notify your employer so that it can initiate a claim with its insurance carrier. Under South Carolina law, all employers are required to maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. South Carolina law requires injured employees to report their injury within 90 days of the accident or incident. If an employer refuses to file a claim, the injured worker may initiate the claim by submitting a Form 50 or Form 52 to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If the claim is accepted, an injured worker is entitled to receive all necessary medical treatment that has a likelihood of reducing the disability or injury. This typically includes compensation for hospitalizations, medical examinations, prescriptions, and even medical devices.
When it comes to benefits, you are also entitled to receive a certain portion of your average weekly wage. The standard compensation rate is roughly 66.67 percent of your average weekly wage, calculated according to the four prior fiscal quarters. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce imposes a cap on the maximum amount of wage-related benefits that a claimant may receive each year. Also, claimants must undergo a seven-day waiting period before they will be eligible to receive benefit payments.Discuss Your Situation with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg
Toxic chemical injuries are complex, painful, and often devastating for a victim and their family. At the Patrick E. Knie Law Offices, we make it a priority to treat each of our clients with the personalized and diligent attention that they deserve. Workers’ compensation claims involve many different aspects, including medical treatment, working with the employer’s insurer, and working with the Commission. Our Spartanburg and Greenville attorney can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process and that your claim is pursued in a timely fashion. Proudly serving people throughout Laurens, Cherokee, Union, and Spartanburg Counties, we provide a free consultation to help you learn more about your rights. Call us now at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up your appointment with a workers’ compensation lawyer.