Injured Workers Who Quit May Risk Losing Benefits in South Carolina
The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm hear this question multiple times a day. The answer can be complicated.
In general, we advise injured workers against leaving their job in the middle of a workers’ comp case. However, each case is different, and we encourage anyone who is injured to reach out to an experienced work injury attorney for guidance.
If you have a workers’ compensation case and quit your job, you risk losing some of your benefits, particularly as it relates to wages.
The benefits available through the South Carolina workers’ compensation insurance system include:
- Medical care and coverage
- Temporary partial wages
- Temporary total wages
- Permanent disability
Here is an example of how complex a case can become:
A worker is injured on the job, and the company is making accommodations for the injury per the evaluating doctor’s orders. If the injured worker is making less money than before the injury, whether it is reduced hours or reduced wages, benefits include a partial wage supplement to cover some of the lost wages until the worker can return to a regular work schedule. The worker quits and takes a different job somewhere else, then comes to find they cannot do their new job. They will be out of luck and no longer eligible to collect the partial wage benefit from the previous job.
Quitting a job during a workers’ comp case becomes an increasingly complex question when one or more of the following are involved:
- Partial or total wages are being paid by workers’ comp
- Job duties are demanding or there is a total inability to work
- Employer reduces worker’s hours to accommodate doctor restrictions
- Insurance carriers or employers are not cooperating
- Doctors do not agree with your injury limitations
- An employer is trying to fire you for filing a claim
One or more of the above scenarios would be an indication to seek the advice of an attorney, particularly if you are considering quitting your job following an injury at work. One thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies will almost certainly be looking for a way to get out of paying you. Any opportunity you give them, even if it is unintentional, will most likely be taken.
“Unfortunately, we get many calls from people who tried to handle their case on their own and made mistakes. We can’t go back in time to change what they did but we can help them make the best out of a bad situation.” said Steinberg Law Firm attorney Kelly Alfreds.
With the advice of an experienced South Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorney, you can avoid losing benefits you are entitled to.
If you were injured at work and confused about your options, call our attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800. We offer free consultations and do not collect any fee unless we secure compensation for you. We handle workers’ comp cases throughout South Carolina and offer virtual meeting options. For additional information, visit our website.