If you’re trying to figure out how to get a good South Carolina workers’ comp settlement in a typical case, there’s a third critical factor these settlements are based on.
That’s a loaded statement, so let me unpack a couple questions it brings up:
- What are the other two major factors in a typical South Carolina workers’ comp settlement? The doctor’s impairment rating and South Carolina’s scheduled loss law.
- How do I know if I don’t have a “typical” South Carolina workers’ comp case? Your case isn’t “typical” if it involves multiple injuries or a severe back/spinal injury like a disc herniation and radiculopathy. These injuries can trigger access to a bigger settlement, like workers’ comp permanent and total disability or wage loss. We touch on this below.
In a typical case, work restrictions are a critical factor in arriving at a settlement value because they reflect the disability you’ve suffered as a result of your work injury.
Basics of Work Restrictions in a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Settlement
What are workers’ comp work restrictions? We’re talking about permanent restrictions here. These are physical activities the doctor says you can’t do anymore as a result of your injuries.
Who gives permanent work restrictions? The doctor.
How does the doctor decide on the restrictions? Many times, it’s based on the doctor’s expertise and experience. In some cases, especially complex cases like multiple injuries or spinal disc herniations, the doctor refers you for a functional capacity evaluation to help set your restrictions.
When do you get permanent work restrictions? When the doctor decides you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, meaning you’re medically as good as you’re going to get.
Now let’s look at why restrictions are critical to your workers’ comp settlement amount.
Why Work Restrictions Are Critical to South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Settlement Amounts
In South Carolina, workers’ compensation settlements are based on the disability caused by your injury.
Permanent work restrictions can be powerful evidence of the extent of that disability, especially if the restrictions have a huge impact on your ability to work.
For example, say the doctor gives you a restriction of “no lifting over 15 pounds.” If you work a desk job, it might have no real impact. But if you’re a construction worker, it could be devastating.
This is where an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can help you properly value your settlement amount so you don’t get cheated by the insurance company—which will stop at nothing to protect its money from you. And that’s likely money you need to replace lost income and possibly float you until you can find a new job fitting your restrictions.
While past results don’t guarantee future ones, and every case is unique, here’s one case where we got a good workers’ comp settlement based on work restrictions, overcoming a low impairment rating.
Get help today, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form to get your questions answered in a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session with a Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ comp attorney.
Common South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Permanent Work Restrictions
In our cases, we often see restrictions like these:
- Lifting. This is expressed as a weight limit, like “no lifting over 25 pounds.” We often see this in our workers’ comp cases involving shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears, but we also see them in spinal injury cases and even knee injury cases, such as torn meniscus cases.
- Carrying. These restrictions often go hand-in-hand with lifting restrictions.
- Sitting. We often see these in back or spinal injury workers’ comp cases, where the doctor says, “no sitting longer than 30 minutes without being allowed to change position and/or stretch.”
- Standing. These restrictions are much the same as sitting, where the doctor limits you to standing to a certain amount of time, like 30 minutes or an hour, before you’ve got to be allowed to sit.
- Reaching overhead. We often see this in shoulder injury cases because you’ve lost the ability to reach overhead, or it hurts too much to do it.
How to Use Permanent Work Restrictions to Get a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Settlement Amount
Bad news: There’s no calculator for this.
This is where you can get the true value of an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney can tell your story beyond your work restrictions to show the real-life impact of them not just on your work, but on your life. That’s why we get to know you as a person, so we can show how your injuries even affect your private life and your ability to enjoy it. Although this isn’t technically part of a workers’ compensation disability, it can figure into arriving at the right settlement amount because it shows the disability’s impact on you as a unique person.
You also benefit from the attorney’s experience in estimating the proper value in a case like yours. Additionally, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows how to negotiate with the insurance company and opposing counsel to arrive at the right amount.
No doubt about it, these cases are complicated. That’s why I wrote a FREE BOOK on workers' comp cases for folks like you. Better yet, I’m here to answer your questions in the easiest way. You can contact us with a live chat, fill out a Get Help Now form, or call toll-free at 888-230-1841.
How Permanent Work Restrictions Affect a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Case With Multiple Injuries
If you’ve got multiple injuries, your case is even more complicated. But you might qualify for a dramatically higher settlement of permanent and total disability or wage loss, or at least a higher settlement to reflect the impact of those multiple injuries on your life.
While past results don’t guarantee future ones, and every case is unique, here’s how we helped one client with multiple injuries get a bigger settlement due to her work restrictions, despite low impairment ratings.
In our more serious cases, I even interview the doctor to reveal permanent work restrictions like:
- Needing several breaks through the day to cope with pain.
- The impact of pain medications on your ability to focus.
- The amount of work you’ll miss because you’ll be laid up with pain after working for a few days.
Yes, This Is Complicated. Get Professional Help Before It’s Too Late Because the Other Side Already Has it
South Carolina workers’ compensation settlement amounts are a big puzzle with many tiny pieces. You’re right to be overwhelmed. You’ve got to protect your right to proper medical treatment, manage complex medical evidence, including the most important parts that may be buried in hundreds of pages of records, then figure out how to present it in a way to convince a greedy insurance company to pay a settlement.
All this responsibility can freeze you. That’s exactly what the insurance company’s counting on. You’ll be so confused, you’ll do nothing, so they will take advantage of you.
Oh, by the way, if you’re seriously hurt, you can count on the insurance company to hire their own lawyer to help them.
You’re smarter than this. Level the playing field. Protect yourself now. Get your own professional help with this serious, complicated case that you’ll only have one chance to do right in your whole life.
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