Life is never the same for someone who suffers a catastrophic workplace injury. In the span of a few seconds, everything changes. Your health, your livelihood and your quality of life are in jeopardy.
When a workplace accident happens in South Carolina, workers’ compensation laws require most employers to pay 100 percent of the injured employee’s medical expenses, no matter who is at fault.
The workers’ compensation system also provides disability benefits and income replacement if the injury forces an employee to miss work — which is typically the case with the most severe injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic job injury, workers’ compensation benefits can be an essential lifeline during such a difficult time. But obtaining the full and fair amount of benefits that you are entitled to can be a challenge. The experienced South Carolina workers comp lawyer at Stewart Law Offices can alleviate your burden by helping to prepare your claim for maximum work injury benefits.
What Is A Catastrophic Injury?
There is no legal list of catastrophic injuries. Instead, a catastrophic injury is defined by the impact that it has on a person’s life.
Example: You fell at work and were diagnosed with a concussion, but went back to normal after a couple of days of rest. That is not a catastrophic injury. But if the fall resulted in widespread brain damage that left you unable to speak, read or walk, that counts as a catastrophic injury.
If an on-the-job accident caused an injury that permanently prevents you from working, then you have likely suffered a catastrophic injury.
Top 5 Worst Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Thankfully, most job injuries (while painful) do not have lifelong consequences. Some of the most devastating injuries include:
- Spinal cord injury: Severe damage to the spinal cord can cause permanent paralysis and other medical problems. The lifetime direct costs of caring for someone who suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 25 is between $2.1 to $5.4 million, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Employees may suffer brain injuries from falls, job-related auto accidents or being struck by an object. Estimates show that it can cost anywhere from $85,000 to $3 million in lifetime treatment costs for a person with a TBI.
- Loss of limb: Getting a body part caught or crushed in a piece of equipment is a frequent cause of amputation from workplace accidents. Prosthetics make it possible for amputees to accomplish many feats. But they cannot enable a person to do everything the way they could before the injury.
- Burns: Thermal or chemical burns caused by explosions or fires can lead to permanent disfigurement, blindness, scarring, infections, inability to regulate body temperature and the need for lifelong surgeries.
- Toxic exposure: Exposure to dangerous chemicals can put workers at risk of developing serious and permanent illnesses, including respiratory diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and other cancers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported than more than half of all South Carolina workplace accidents in a recent year were “of a more severe nature,” requiring days off work, transfers or other restrictions.
Contact A South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured at work, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can help. We serve clients throughout South Carolina and select areas of North Carolina.
For a free consultation with one of our compassionate lawyers, contact us today.