All workers who are hurt on the job do have various compensation rights. However, in the case of government workers, this process can also create an additional burden on taxpayers because the money needs to come from public sources.
When local government workers need to take time off and get treatment due to work related injuries, a number of people are concerned that their compensation claims come with a large price tag for South Carolina taxpayers. Various officials are looking into ways to retrain employees to minimize the risk of motor vehicle accidents and other sources of serious losses.
Local and state governments look to minimize costs related to work injuries in South Carolina
Some of the most recent records available from 2015 show that the public safety division alone had to pay out over $2 million that year. Much of that cost was related to police, fire, and emergency services workers who got into motor vehicle accidents and could not work due to injuries. From mid 2015 to mid 2017, approximately 50 public safety vehicles belonging to these departments were involved in accidents.
A risk management professional who works in Horry County, South Carolina said that some of these costs can be reduced with additional training for government employees. However, the price of a motor vehicle accident for local governments can be upwards of $300,000 per vehicle involved. Police chiefs around the state are also in the process of getting more cameras on their cruisers to reduce liability and provide footage that will assist with new training programs. Insurance premiums for these government agencies are also expected to go way up in the future, due to the increased number of claims and incidents.
Many local officials expressed a desire to address these issues at local meetings. They want public safety employees to be compensated as much as realistically possible, but there are also issues with these compensation claims and insurance eating up large portions of their budgets. Ideally, they plan to minimize risk, along with workers compensation and insurance costs, and put that money towards the salaries of South Carolina’s public safety workers.
Laws surrounding workers compensation claims
Employers of a certain size are required by law to have workers compensation insurance. This is because anyone who is injured while performing their normal job duties is entitled to payment for their missed time, and employers should not be able to avoid paying a person’s wages if they were hurt while legitimately providing services for the business and its customers.
When an injury happens, workers should also be careful about accepting an unsolicited settlement from an insurance provider or employer, as these may be much smaller amounts than the same person would receive from a legitimate workers compensation case. Unforeseen medical costs and other issues can add to costs after an accident, and if the victim has already accepted a settlement, it is usually not possible to get any additional money.
Get help from a workers compensation attorney in Greenville
There are local lawyers who focus on helping people affected by workplace injuries in Greenville and nearby parts of South Carolina. The Hayes Law Firm is available to speak with you about any concerns.