Monthly Archives: January 2014
Attorney Byron David with The David Law Firm has been chosen to speak at the Injured Workers’ Advocates Paralegal and Legal Assistant Seminar on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Attorney David plans to discuss what types of cases must be mediated and how paralegals can prepare their attorney and files for mediation. The seminar has been designed to assist paralegals and legal assistants of all levels.
Injured Workers’ Advocates is a nonprofit association of attorneys who are dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and legal remedies for South Carolina workers who are victims of occupational injury or disease. Injured Workers’ Advocates works to achieve these goals by advocating for the rights of the injured worker through education, litigation, and communicating with others concerning goals and issues important to the protection of workers’ rights in the state of South Carolina. Their mission is to protect the rights of injured workers and their families in South Carolina.
Regulation 67-1601 A (1) provides the expenses incurred for travel to receive
medical attention which shall be reimbursed to the claimant are mileage to and
from a place of medical attention which is more than five miles away from home in
accordance with the amount allowed state employees for mileage.
The state employee mileage rate is based upon the standard business mileage rate
established by the Internal Revenue Service. Effective January 1, 2014 the
reimbursement rate for state employee mileage is 56 cents per mile. Therefore,
effective January 1, 2014, the new mileage reimbursement rate to and from a place
of medical attention is 56 cents per mile.
At the [South Carolina WCC] Business Meeting on December 16, 2013, the Commission approved the maximum weekly compensation rate at $752.16 for injuries arising on and after January 1, 2014. The South
Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce certified the average weekly wage July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
As provided in Title 42 of the SC Code of Laws, 1976 the maximum weekly compensation rate equals 66⅔% of an individual’s average weekly wage, not to exceed the average weekly wage in this State for the preceding fiscal year as determined by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
Sometimes a treating doctor or surgeon will not agree to testify in court, and in fact will not have anything to do with a patient’s injury case.
Clients of The David Law Firm ask what can they do when their own doctors do not want to be bothered. In some cases a treating doctor will demand thousands of dollars to testify, attend a deposition, or even write a written report.
Since the injured victim always has the burden of proof to show the nature and extent of the harms and losses, expert medical testimony is vital.
Attorney Byron David advises clients in these circumstances that there are other options:
- While the U.S. Constitution forbids involuntary servitude, such that a doctor cannot be forced to give an opinion or testimony, physicians and other healthcare providers can be subpoenaed as fact witnesses — much like an eyewitness to a car crash or dog bite attack.
- Hiring a paid expert witness is another way to obtain medical testimony in a case. In order to keep the costs down of going this route, David counsels disabled clients that a reviewing physician, independent examiner, or other expert witness will be questioned in a deposition, but will not necessarily be retained for trial.
- If the treating doctor, family physician, or surgeon refuses to participate in a trial, then David has over the years taken many videotaped depositions for later presentation to the jury. While David prefers live testimony of the actual treating doctors, videotaped depositions, along with the appropriate visual aids and medical illustrations, have their place and purpose.
- In major cases, the David Law Firm trial team will retain a medical expert to evaluate and examine the patient, along with his or her medical records and films. That medical doctor can then testify at trial as to his or her findings, opinions, and explanations of the medical terminology.
- Another solution is to have a non-examining doctor perform a medical records review of the films and records i.e., x-rays, MRI, CT scan, pet scan, etc. and then testify based upon that limited information.
- The David Law Firm has also used nurses, PhD’s, and other experts to explain medical conditions, anatomy, and the usual customary charges for medical treatment.
If you, or someone you care for, has been injured through no fault of their own, and there are questions about their doctors’ assistance in their case or claim, call The David Law Firm (843) 488-1415.