South Carolina Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured South Carolina Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6

    Question Impairment Rating

    I received a total body impairment rating of 28% after a car accident where my right arm was damaged and nerve. Now I'm right handed. I can't touch my face, or reach the left side of body..my knee was damaged so I can't walk down steps properly....so what can I expect to receive from a 28% total body impairment rating it's been 19 months since accident. I don't believe that the impairment rating was accurate... no measuring devices were used, my condition was eyeballed, and my telling of issues were over looked totally.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    you're hoping he "eyeballed" low rather then high.
    contact the ombudsman to request a second opinion.
    http://www.wcc.sc.gov/Ombudsmans+Office/
    what'll you do if it's lower?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6

    Question Re: Impairment Rating

    Actually 28% is not bad...that's 1/4 my total body. I just felt it should have been more considering that it was and is my prominent arm and hand. I feel that I've lost more.....since I now have to have assistance doing things that I once did myself.

    What can I expect as far as compensation for a 28% impairment rating? and a total of $150,000.00 IN MEDICAL BILLS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    How does the Commissioner or the Claims Mediator decide how much I get paid for my injury?

    Your award is based on 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay before taxes and other deductions, up to a maximum amount set under the workers’ compensation law. This is called your compensation rate. In addition, many body parts have been assigned a value measured in weeks of compensation. For example, the complete loss of the use of an arm is valued as 220 weeks of compensation. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, the percent of disability or loss of use agreed to at the conference will be multiplied by the value of the injured body part and your compensation rate. In the earlier example, if we assume that the injured worker has an average weekly wage of $450, the compensation rate would be $300(66 2/3% x $450 = $300). The worker would receive $6600 for an injury that resulted in a 10% loss of use of the arm (10% x 220 weeks x $300 = $6600).
    http://www.wcc.state.sc.us/CmsPortal/AgencyPostingTemplate.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRNODE GUID={B0164A18-10C7-4BEE-9A40-3246B7BCF3BE}&NRORIGINALURL=/Welcome+and+Overview/faqs/&NRCACHEHINT=NoModifyGuest#inf_decide
    Info on disability ratings, and awards is here http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t42c009.htm

    What can I expect as far as compensation for a 28% impairment rating? and a total of $150,000.00 IN MEDICAL BILLS
    You can calculate the indemnity award portion of your claim based on the formula above.
    There may be money for future medical needs, or the medical could remain open. The ''total of $150,000.00 IN MEDICAL BILLS '' doesn't have much of anything to do with your settlement, You didn't pay those bills.
    IF you had out of pocket costs for treatment you self procured, you should be sure those are addressed in any settlement you negotiate. Future medical costs can be estimated based on averages of your past medical costs. You are not likely to receive any where near the potential cost of treatment you may need later on. So closing your medical should be carefully considered.
    Keep in mind that all claims that include medical treatment are now reported to CMS/Medicare and tracked. When you become Medicare eligible, you'll have to prove you have exhausted any money you receive for medical in a settlement before Medicare will provide benefits.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    Thank you for your help. Now does this same principle apply to a person involved in a auto accident? or are there different standards used ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    Yes, because it's a comp/work injury.
    Your ER is the one liable for your injury in the end, as you were 'working' at the time of the MVA/

    The difference is, under the coverage of the 3rd party/MVA carrier, there is a different level of medical provided... you are entitled to treatment that will return you to pre injury condition...subject to the limitations of the policy. There is also money for pain and suffering, lost wages/past & future, and punitive damages if it goes to trail. (damages are awarded by a jury, not a judge or negotiation).

    However, the WC IC is entitled to reimbursement for any money/benefits they have provided up to the amount they spent, minus atty fees. You are not liable for all of the atty fees in getting the carriers money back.

    It's important there are attorneys familiar with BOTH PI/MVA and WC claims. Generally the PI atty doesn't have much use for a WC atty...and the comp AA gets lost in the fee structure. One doesn't always look out for the other.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    Thank you. I have an Attorney taking care of my case, now does this give him the right to accept the settlement offer? or do I have the option of accepting, or refusing? I'm 28% impaired, at maximum recovery, I want $150,000.00 for impairment, pain and suffering, and future medical. I also want medical bills incurred paid. Is it possible?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    I want $150,000.00 for impairment, pain and suffering, and future medical. I also want medical bills incurred paid. Is it possible?
    Probably not. Impairment ratings determine the value of your PPD indemnity. That is pre determined by statute. Not generally any negotiation there...and if paid by lump sum, there would be a reduction to ''todays dollars''.

    There is NO money for ''pain and suffering''. That may be available in a personal injury claim...not comp.

    Any self procured medical treatment bills should definately be addressed in any settlement you enter into.

    Your AA cannot accept an offer to settle the claim without your signature. IW always has the last say in any settlement. You cannot force a lump sum payment...and neither can the ER/IC.

    Your thought process on the dollars though are not realistic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6

    Question Re: Impairment Rating

    Thank you for all your help, and what figures would be more realistic for example?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Impairment Rating

    Quote Quoting bmq View Post
    Thank you for all your help, and what figures would be more realistic for example?
    Go to the formula for calculating the indeminty... I gave it to you in 'quotes', and the link.
    You know your weekly rate, and your rating %, just multiply it out.
    You can't force a lump sum payment... the default is bi weekly and open medical, unless the statutes provide otherwise.

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