We’ve already discussed how your disability rating is the most important number in your workers’ compensation case, and how your attorney should try to maximize it for the best possible settlement. The second most important number in most workers’ compensation cases is the scheduled loss law. That’s the law setting the workers’ compensation value for total loss of body parts commonly hurt at work.
Yep, you heard me right: the South Carolina legislature has assigned a value to every one of your body parts that commonly get hurt at work, and they’ve written those values into state law. Let’s briefly discuss how it works:
Strange But True: What Scheduled Loss Means
The law puts total loss in terms of weeks. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Arm: 200 weeks
- Shoulder: 300 weeks
- Leg: 195 weeks
- Back: If the loss of use is 49 percent or less, 300 weeks. If it’s 50 percent or more, you are presumed totally and permanently disabled under workers’ comp and the value is 500 weeks.
Here Lies the Significance
Scheduled loss value is a vital factor determining your permanent disability compensation, usually paid as a cash settlement. Because your disability rating is the percentage loss of that body part, you multiply the disability rating by the scheduled loss value to get the number of weeks of compensation you get paid for permanent disability. For example, if you have a 20 percent disability to your shoulder, you compute your eligibility for permanent disability compensation like this:
.20 disability x 300 weeks total loss = 60 weeks
To get the final dollar amount, you multiply that 60 weeks by your comp rate—the amount of your weekly comp check. So for our example, let's say your comp rate is $400. That makes your settlement $24,000.
And here's an important reminder: if you're hurt seriously, you may qualify for even more compensation., which could include:
- workers' comp total disability, which you might be surprised to learn you qualify for,
- compensation for permanent wage loss if you're not toally disabled, but will never earn the income you used to, or
- additional compensation for injuries affecting more than one body part.
If you’re hurt at work in South Carolina, this case is your one chance to maximize the only compensation you likely get. You owe it to yourself and your family to make sure you have the trained eye of a skilled professional who’s familiar with the scheduled loss law to make sure all your injuries are covered, and has the talent to maximize your disability rating for the best possible settlement for you.
Call us at 864.582.0416 or toll free at 888.230.1841 for a free meeting to discuss your case. Even if we don’t accept it—we simply can’t handle every case that wants our attention—you might get some free pointers to help you along the way.
Related Links:Basics of Typical Workers’ Comp Settlements