These changes will have a significant affect on the South Carolina’s working people.
In Workers’ Comp, certain body parts have an assigned value. One of the changes in the new Workers’ Comp law is the addition of the shoulders and hips to the list. The list has always included legs, arms, back, etc. Previously, South Carolina has treated the hip uniquely and allowed total permanent disability to be based on the hip injury alone. Similarly, last year the shoulder was determined not to be solely part of the arm by the Courts. For an injured worker this meant that if the injury was to the shoulder or to the hip and the worker was unable to recover sufficiently to return to work that he/she could have been found to be totally and permantly disabled. With the new law a total loss of use of the hip will only be compensated at 280 weeks while total loss of use of the shoulder will only be compensated at 300 weeks.
This change may seem to simplify shoulder and hip injuries. However, it makes more difficult for an injured worker who is unable to return to work because of a devastating shoulder or hip injury to protect his/her rights to receive just compensation for the loss suffered. Governor Sanford is fond of saying "What’s good for business is good for South Carolina". It’s my job to make sure it’s not the hard working people of this State that pay the price.
Blog by Paul Rathke
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