What Do I Do If a Work Injury Has Left Me Permanently Disabled?

, , , ,

Many work injuries are minor, quickly treatable and result in full recoveries. But even if you work a generally “safe” job, like working in an office, there is still potential to suffer permanent injuries that lead to significant disability and reduced capacity for work.

Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system is built to help even those who suffer permanent work injuries to move on with life.

How Do I Find Out If I Am Eligible for Permanent Disability Benefits?

You will need to see a workers’ compensation doctor to determine whether your injury qualifies you for permanent disability benefits. As you recover, your doctor will at some point determine that you have reached “maximal medical improvement,” or “MMI.”

Once you reach MMI, your workers’ compensation doctor will evaluate any permanent limitations you will have based on your injury and establish a disability rating. This disability rating will determine your potential for benefits. If your limitations are significant enough, depending on the laws of your state, you may receive what is known as a “whole person impairment rating.” This is common in cases involving catastrophic injury, such as spinal cord injury or permanent organ injury.
Calculating Permanent Disability Benefits

Under most workers’ compensation systems in the United States, permanent disability benefits are some of the most complex benefits to calculate. There are two types of permanent disability benefits: permanent total disability benefits and permanent partial disability benefits. Typically, permanent disabilities are considered either scheduled disabilities or unscheduled disabilities.

Scheduled disabilities are ones that are specifically listed in a state’s workers’ comp code. These may include things like disability of extremities or partial or total loss of senses, such as sight or hearing. Injuries like these tend to have prescribed payments and payment plans.

Unscheduled injuries are a bit trickier. These do not appear in the state workers’ comp code and as such, are often calculated with a more nuanced, case-by-case analysis.

Was Your Workers’ Comp Claim Denied?

Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims are denied, even when a person has clearly suffered a work-related injury leading to damages such as reduced capacity for work, lost wages and permanent disability. If you are ever involved in a work-related injury, it is important to speak to a workers’ comp attorney as soon as you can. It costs nothing to speak to a law firm that specializes in helping injured workers pursue the benefits that they are entitled to. You should not hesitate to call an attorney, because these cases often involve very strict deadlines. The sooner you speak up, the more likely you are to receive the benefits that you need to move forward with your life.

Written on behalf of Brian MacKenzie by AskTheLawyers.com™