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Charleston Workers Compensation Attorney

Charleston Workers Compensation Attorney

David Pearlman is a top Workers' Compensation attorney serving Charleston, SC.

The Steinberg Law Firm secured a substantial $2,750,000 settlement in a case involving a product defect, specifically a scissor lift malfunction.
The firm obtained a significant settlement of $1,590,000 in a case related to a boiler explosion accident.
In a machinery injury case that resulted in a traumatic amputation, the Steinberg Law Firm secured a settlement of $1,000,000 for the injured party.
The firm successfully resolved a medical malpractice case, where the failure to diagnose cancer led to a $1,000,000 settlement for the plaintiff.
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David Pearlman is our recommended Charleston Workers' Compensation attorney. 843-920-6337

Disclosure: We may receive compensation from this attorney.

About David Pearlman

David T. Pearlman is a Partner at the Steinberg Law Firm and has made significant contributions to the field of law. He has achieved notable victories in landmark cases before the South Carolina Court of Appeals and the South Carolina Supreme Court, where he played a pivotal role in defending the rights of working people against some of the country's largest corporations.

David's journey into the legal profession was driven by a strong desire to make a difference. He began advocating for civil and workers' rights as a student at both the University of Georgia and George Washington University, where his passion for justice and fairness took root.

In 1976, David earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina Law School and embarked on his legal career at the Steinberg Law Firm. Founded with the noble purpose of aiding the working people of South Carolina, the firm was a natural fit for David's principles and values. He became a partner in the firm in 1980, further solidifying his commitment to serving the legal needs of the community.

David's dedication to promoting workers' rights extends beyond his legal practice. He served as an adjunct professor of workers' compensation law at the Charleston School of Law for two years, imparting his knowledge and expertise to future legal professionals. He has also been an active lecturer on workers' rights, contributing to the education and awareness of these important issues.

In addition to his legal work, David has been deeply involved in various committees related to workers' rights, serving as legislative chairperson for South Carolina Injured Workers' Advocates (IWA) for 12 years.

David's contributions to the legal profession have been recognized with prestigious awards and honors. Notable among these is the Gedney M. Howe Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service. He has also been a two-time recipient of the Leadership in Law recognition by Lawyers Weekly, first in 2011 and then again in 2017. His peers consistently nominate him as a Super Lawyer, reflecting their recognition of his exceptional legal skills.

David has earned a reputation as one of the Best Lawyers in America for over a decade. His AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, denoting the highest professional and ethical standards, underscores his standing in the legal community.

What it's Like Working With Our Recommended Workers' Compensation attorney serving Charleston, SC

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Workers' Compensation Attorney

David Pearlman


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61 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401

What is Charleston Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is the practice of law in which an attorney represents either an employee or an employer in a specific injury case that occurred during an employee’s regular conduct of their job duties. Workers’ compensation also oversees the compensation of the dependents if a worker is killed while on the job. This is not limited to just immediate injuries that occur on a job site but can also include injuries that develop from exposure to dangerous materials over a period of time.

Companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers as they conduct their normal job duties. With that in mind, many companies develop certain rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their employees as they conduct these duties. Even with these precautions companies are able to implement, not every job can be safe 100% of the time. If, in the course of normal work duties (and under the safety guidelines outlined by the company) an employee is injured, the employee is within his or her rights to file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Most companies are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are definitely holes in these policies though. Not all employees are covered under this policy and some states don’t require full coverage for undocumented workers or certain types of employees including:

  • Domestic workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Undocumented workers

Workers’ compensation law is subject to both federal and state (South Carolina) law. The federal laws typically only apply to government employees or those who conduct interstate commerce. Each state carries different laws regarding their individual workers’ compensation system. 

Should the Injured Worker File a Workers’ Compensation Claim or a Civil Lawsuit?

The injured worker will need to determine if they will be filing a workers’ compensation claim or a civil lawsuit against his or her employer. This decision may be determined by the state law, it may be an optional choice, or the case may warrant both paths. It is sometimes difficult to determine which is the best route, and consultation with a top Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer is essential. If an employee files a workers’ compensation claim (in most cases) they forfeit their right to file a civil lawsuit against his or her employer for negligence or other damages. 

Under a workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker will be compensated for lost wages, medical costs, and occupational rehabilitation expenses as well as a payment for the loss of use of any body part or the death of the employee. 

If the worker is exempt from the workers’ compensation program or is able to file a civil lawsuit (and it would be the better option for them), they may pursue that route. 

Under a civil lawsuit, a judge will render a decision based on the evidence presented accusing the employer of fault. 

Additionally, a civil lawsuit may be filed by an injured worker against a third party in addition to his or her workers’ compensation claim against the employer. The employer is also empowered to file a civil lawsuit against a third party to recover the expenses paid under the workers’ compensation claim (if the third party is at fault – i.e., faulty equipment, etc.). 

The Levels of Workers’ Compensation Claims

Like any legal case, there are levels of severity that need to be considered. Under the umbrella of workers’ compensation claims, there are four different levels of severity. 

Level 1: Medical Treatment Only

The first is Medical Treatment Only. In this case, the injury is mild. The employee is able to seek medical attention to the injury and have the issue resolved with no time lost on the job. In this case, the worker will seek compensation for his or her medical expenses only. 

Level 2: Medical Treatment with Lost Time From Work

The second level would be Medical Treatment with Lost Time From Work. Under this scenario, the employee may have experienced a more severe injury which not only necessitates medical attention but time off from work. In this case, the employee would seek compensation for his or her medical expenses as well as the lost income from the missed time.

Level 3: Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Current Work

Under the third level, Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Current Work, we witness an even more severe level of injury. In this case, the employee was injured so severely that he or she is unable to perform the duties they were previously able to perform. This typically applies to more physical jobs. In this case, the employee would be seeking compensation or medical expenses as well as his or her change in lifestyle. In this case, the workers’ compensation attorney in Charleston would most likely need to engage a Forensic Economic specialist to determine how the injury will affect their job prospects long-term. 

Level 4: Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Any Work

The fourth level of injury is Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Any Work. This type of claim typically involves severed limbs, blindness, paralysis, or other catastrophic injuries. In this case, the Charleston workers’ compensation attorney would again engage the services of a Forensic Economic specialist to determine the amount of lost wages the injury caused the worker. Additionally, if the injury creates a situation in which the client needs any type of long-term care, that would be considered in the claim as well. In some cases, benefits can continue for the duration of the employee’s life. 

Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims

There are certain industries that are more prone to worker injuries. Fishing and logging are the two highest. Some other high-risk industries involve pilots, roofers, waste management professionals, steelworkers, farmers, truck drivers, and landscapers. Obviously, an employee could be injured no matter where they work, but these industries are more inherently dangerous. 

Following are some of the more common workers’ compensation claims:

  • Overexertion (muscle or joint damage)
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Electrocution
  • Struck by fallen object
  • Transportation accident
  • Machinery accident
  • Unintentional overdose
  • Workplace violence
  • Exposure to harmful substances
  • Fires or explosions

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