Your employer's workers' comp insurance is there for you when you get hurt at work. It covers all of your accident-related medical bills and can also provide you funds while you recuperate at home. In some cases, your injury either fails to heal or is catastrophic. Read on to learn more about how workers' comp handles partial permanent disability.
The Initial Level of Benefits
The workers' comp carrier has a procedure for dealing with certain types of injuries. When it's immediately apparent that you have a permanent disability, you will likely proceed to the settlement phase fairly quickly. If your injury is slow to heal, the insurance carrier will have you examined by a workers' comp doctor to determine whether or not your injury has the potential to eventually heal. Once it is determined that your injury is permanent, you are said to be at maximum medical improvement. You can be 100% disabled or any percentage below that, depending on the body parts involved.
Partial Permanent Disabilities
Not all injuries make it impossible to work. If you are determined to be 65% disabled, there may be work you can do, even if it is not the work you are currently trained to do. The problem comes when there is a disagreement over the level of disability. If you disagree with the MMI, you must seek help right away. Your ability to make a living is on the line, and the stakes are high. The insurance carrier prefers that you be retrained to work in another job, since any work you do and any money you earn reduces the amount of workers' compensation you are owed.
If you are interested in vocational rehabilitation and wish to work at a different job, a light duty job or a part time job, then by all means take the offer. You should understand that you are still entitled to a settlement for your injury and the amount of that settlement is open to negotiation. In general, the victims receive compensation that is aligned with their level of disability. For example, if you are ruled to be 50% disabled, you will receive 50% of your previous salary in a settlement.
These cases can be extremely complicated, particularly when you don't agree with the level of disability and/or are offered an inadequate settlement. Speak to a workers' comp attorney such as Matt Fendon Law Group to get help as soon as possible if you are diagnosed with an MMI.