Follow these steps after a work injury to get maximum compensation
For many, online shopping has become the preferred method of purchasing and receiving goods. The global COVID-19 pandemic further normalized online shopping as a means of purchasing clothes, household goods, food and home office supplies.
Global shipping companies like FedEx also deliver time-sensitive important documents at near-lightning speed. The increased demand for the rapid delivery of food items, household goods and documents places additional pressure on shipping company workers to prepare and deliver shipments according to very strenuous schedules.
Increasingly rigorous schedules can heighten the risk of employees becoming injured working at FedEx. Fortunately, as an employer of workers in South Carolina, FedEx is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay benefits to workers who become injured while on the job.
What are the most common employee injuries at FedEx?
The 2 main components of FedEx’s business model are the sorting and loading of packages at the warehouse and the delivery of packages on the road. The injuries that occur in each of these 2 parts of the business can differ significantly.
Back injuries caused by strain and overuse commonly occur in the warehouse setting where sorting and loading take place.
Can I get workers’ comp for a repetitive stress injury?
Yes, you can get workers’ comp benefits for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel. Find out what steps you need to take to get maximum compensation in South Carolina.
FedEx employees who work on the road delivering packages are at a comparatively higher risk of becoming injured in a traffic accident. Delivery drivers may also find themselves in precarious situations as they carry packages from the delivery truck to the recipient’s property.
Dog bites and slip-and-fall accidents are other common causes of injury among delivery drivers.
Are FedEx workers entitled to workers’ comp benefits?
South Carolina requires nearly all employers who employ 4 or more full-time or part-time employees to carry workers’ comp coverage. Employees are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits as long as their injury or illness arises out of the course of their employment.
The injury may have occurred during a single accident, or the worker may have developed the injury over a period of time as a result of working on the job. Therefore, employees who miss work due to a FedEx package handler injury and those who are involved in accidents while making a delivery are equally entitled to benefits under workers’ comp insurance.
What workers’ comp benefits am I entitled to after an injury at FedEx?
FedEx employees who are injured on the job may receive 3 main types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical benefits
- Income replacement
- Death benefits
According to South Carolina’s state law, FedEx and other employers must offer workers’ compensation benefits that cover “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment following their work-related injury.
These expenses include:
- Medical transportation
- Visits to doctors
- Hospital visits
- Lab work
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical procedures
- Follow-up visits
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Medical devices
- Adaptive equipment
Workers’ comp covers medical expenses for a period of 10 weeks. However, the coverage period may be extended depending on the nature of the worker’s injury.
Income replacement benefits
Compensation paid to injured workers for lost wages is also known as income replacement benefits. The amount of compensation the injured worker receives depends on the classification of the worker’s injury. Workers’ injuries may be categorized as causing:
- Permanent total disability (PTD)
- Permanent partial disability (PPD)
- Temporary total disability (TTD)
- Temporary partial disability (TPD)
Permanent total disability (PTD)
Injuries classified as PTD prevent the worker from doing any work in the future. In this case, the worker receives benefits ranging from two-thirds of their weekly wage prior to the injury up to the statutory maximum payment amount.
Injured workers generally may receive PTD benefits for 500 weeks.
Permanent partial disability (PPD)
Workers who are permanently injured on the job but are still able to work in some capacity may receive PPD benefits. These workers generally receive two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury average weekly wage and the post-injury average weekly wage (up to the statutory maximum).
The length of time the worker receives the benefit depends on whether the injury is listed within South Carolina’s schedule of losses. The duration of the benefits equals the number of weeks assigned in the schedule to the injured body part.
For injuries that are not listed in the schedule of losses, the injured worker’s doctor will assign a degree of impairment, which is ultimately utilized to determine the duration of the benefits up to a maximum of 500 weeks.
Temporary total disability (TTD)
Injured workers generally receive TTD benefits if they are unable to resume working at the same (or similar) job within 7 days of the date the injury occurred. These workers receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage prior to the injury up to South Carolina’s statutory maximum.
Temporary partial disability (TPD)
TPD benefits are reserved for workers who are able to continue working in a limited capacity as they recover. Workers who receive TPD are awarded two-thirds of the difference between their wages before their injury and what they are able to earn after the injury up to the state’s statutory maximum.
Injured workers’ dependents may receive workers’ comp death benefits if a work-related accident causes the worker’s death within 6 years or their accident or injury.
Dependent family members are entitled to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage for up to 500 weeks. Available workers’ comp benefits also include an additional $2,500 for funeral costs.
If the deceased worker did not have dependents, workers’ comp pays all funeral costs and awards additional benefits to the decedent’s parents or estate.
Did you know?
To receive death benefits for a loved one who died from a fatal work injury, the person getting the benefits must have been a dependent of the employee or “wholly dependent” on the employee for financial support while they were living.
“Wholly dependent” recipients include:
- A minor child
- A spouse
- An adult child who is enrolled full-time at an accredited educational institution and is younger than 23 years old
- An adult child who is mentally or physically incapable of self-support
Steps FedEx workers should take after getting hurt on the job
- Seek medical treatment. FedEx injured workers should first seek emergency medical treatment. Not only is seeking medical attention important in protecting your health but seeing a doctor as early as possible will also provide medical documentation of your injury, which will be needed to get workers’ compensation.
Please be aware that with the exception of emergency care, state law grants employers the right to choose the doctor who will treat the injured worker if the worker receives workers’ comp benefits.
- Report your injury. After receiving emergency medical attention, the injured worker’s next step should be to report the injury to their employer.
South Carolina requires employees to report their injuries to their employer in writing within 90 days of the date the accident occurred.
Workers who do not report their injury in writing within 90 days may be unable to receive benefits under FedEx’s workers’ comp policy.
Exceptions may apply if the employer is already aware of the worker’s injury or if the worker is physically or mentally unable to report the injury in writing within 90 days.
- Verify that FedEx files the necessary paperwork. Next, the injured worker should be vigilant in making sure his or her employer files the proper forms with South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.
State law specifies that the injured worker is not responsible for filing the claim. Instead, the employer has a legal obligation to file the required form.
Nevertheless, injured employees may file their own claims if their employer refuses to do so.
- Request a hearing if your claim is denied. Finally, workers should request a hearing if, after following the required process, their workers’ comp claim is denied.
Workers may request a hearing by completing and submitting Form 50 and checking the box in item 13b. Workers must pay a fee of $50 when requesting a hearing.
If a worker remains unsatisfied with a decision made by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the injured worker may file an appeal with the circuit court and, if necessary, the South Carolina Supreme Court.
If your claim is denied, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you with the appeal process to ensure your rights are protected.
Workers’ comp benefits denied?
Talk to our Columbia work injury attorney
Contacting a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney
Injured FedEx workers and their families should always seek out the professional opinion of a South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney can advise the injured worker regarding additional steps that can help the worker prevail in his or her claim.
Workers’ comp lawyers help accident victims gather and organize evidence to support the worker’s case by:
- Saving receipts from all treatments received
- Accessing the official accident report and eyewitness statements
- Obtaining surveillance footage and photos of the accident scene
- Gathering unpaid invoices for medical treatment
Workers’ comp lawyers are generally available to give injured workers a free, confidential case evaluation, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you’ve been injured at work in South Carolina, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Chappell, Chappell and Newman. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for injured workers across the state of South Carolina, and we’d love the opportunity to help you, too. We can negotiate with FedEx on your behalf to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation.