What happens if you are in a car accident while working in South Carolina?
If you are injured in a car accident while working you are going to have more issues than just your injuries. You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the car accident happened while you were working and you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. These type cases are some of the trickiest for an unrepresented person to navigate. BEWARE-If you settle the car accident with the at-fault driver before completing your workers’ compensation case, you could ruin your workers’ compensation case. These cases must be handled with care and always benefit from the advice of an attorney who knows your particular circumstances.
First, the workers’ compensation insurance should pay for your medical care and missed time from work as a result of the car accident. Once you are all better (or as good as you are going to get) your doctor will assign an impairment rating and possible permanent work restrictions. You are entitled to payment for your permanent disability as a result of the car accident. After your workers’ compensation case is over, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will have a right to some of the money you receive from the at-fault driver. This is called a subrogation interest. It is best to deal with these issues during the settlement of your workers’ compensation case. If these issues are not dealt with properly you could hurt both your workers’ compensation case and your recovery from the at fault driver.
Rarely, there are times when the case against the at-fault driver needs to be settled before the workers’ compensation case is done. This happens most when the injured party is receiving medical treatment beyond the statute of limitations for the car accident. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has laid out a very precise sequence of filings and events that must take place to settle the car accident before the workers’ compensation case. If you do not follow these steps correctly, you may be cut off from receiving any further workers’ compensation benefits and you may owe money to the workers’ compensation insurance company! My advice is to always get legal advice with these situations. Make sure to seek out legal counsel who is familiar with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system and laws. Many lawyers who dabble in this area have made costly mistakes when it comes to workers’ compensation car accidents.
Done correctly, a person injured in a car accident while working should usually end up with more in their pocket at the end of a case than a person who is injured in a non work-related car accident.
If you would like to speak with a lawyer regarding your South Carolina workers’ compensation case, please call Venus Poe at 864-963-0310.
The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should not read this article to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you may have a case.