With high risk jobs, injuries are an unfortunate, yet common occurrence. Let’s say you have suffered an injury in the line of duty. Despite countless medical treatments, you were never able to fully recover and the sustained injuries prevented you from going back to work. Our Chula Vista worker compensation experts often have clients come to them with a similar question which is whether they will be compensated for such injuries. The answer can vary and depends on something called a disability or injury rating.
How does disability rating work?
Apart from the cost of your medical care and additional benefits you should receive, if you are permanently injured and this injury prevents you from going back to work, you are entitled to the wages you would be losing as a result. There are two categories: the Permanent Partial Disability, which means that you can work but in a smaller capacity, and the Permanent Total Disability, which is assigned if an injury prevents you from working at all. A permanent disability should be compensated by your employer if a settlement is reached. Once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (also known as MMI), your doctor will determine which disability rating category your injuries fall into.
Disability rating and compensation
An injury rating represents the doctor’s evaluation of the severity of your injury. The disability rating is represented as a percentage score. So if the doctor gives you a 30% disability rating for your injured hand that means that you are at 70% working capacity. The factors which determine the value of the settlement for a permanent injury are the amount of your pay, which part of the body was injured and your disability rating. Each part of the body has a certain value assigned to it, so for example a finger is worth 70 weeks of payment, a leg is worth 240 weeks, while your back is worth 350 weeks. This means that if you lose a finger, you will receive 70 weeks’ worth of your pay.
If you have suffered permanent damage to a body part, but didn’t lose it or it isn’t totally disabled, your injury is categorized as a permanent partial disability. Permanent Partial Disability is calculated depending on the body part that suffered the injury. So if you suffer a permanent wrist injury, it accounts for 50% of the value of your hand. The injury rating for the particular body part will determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Permanent and Total Disability
If you have suffered a total disability, rendering you unable to work, you are entitled to compensation by your employer. Depending on the state, the compensation laws for PTD varies. If you have suffered a permanent disability, you should immediately contact a Chula Vista worker compensation attorney for legal advice. Furthermore, if your disability is permanent, you should receive life-long medical care for the disability. If your condition becomes worse as a result of the permanent injury, you might be able to claim a larger settlement.
What to do if you suffer a Permanent Disability?
The first thing you need to do is get all the medical help you need and follow a treatment plan to ensure your recovery. As soon as you’ve reached the MMI point, the doctor will assign a disability rating. Be aware that your employer is entitled to and will probably ask for a second opinion. If you believe that the rating you have been given is too low, you are entitled to a second opinion as well. Contact an experienced law agency which specializes in worker compensation in Chula Vista for any legal help you may need in the light of your injury, especially if the insurance company denies your claim.
The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.