Suffering an injury while at work can affect your well-being and ability to return to your job as soon as possible. Navigating your injuries and the impacts of a work injury can leave you facing mounting stresses and challenges that arise as you wait to resolve a workers' compensation claim.
Errors, omissions, or misunderstandings during the complex workers' compensation claims process can cause delays in the claim or the amount of compensation you may receive. Disability determinations, in particular, can significantly affect the amount of money you may receive as part of a workers' compensation claim payout. The designation as a permanent and partial disability can influence how your claim proceeds and how long you may receive benefits.
Consulting a workers' compensation attorney allows you to discuss your claim and what you can expect in your case.
Who Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Injured victims don’t always know if they can file a claim for worker's compensation, or how to. If you suffer an injury at work or executing work duties but not at your place of employment, you likely have grounds to file a worker's compensation claim with your employer's coverage.
Workers' compensation insurance allows employers to avoid liability through legal action in most instances. The insurance coverage also allows workplace injury victims to pursue benefits without the need to prove negligence or fault for the accident.
If you suffer any injury that affects your ability to work and causes you to incur medical expenses, you can seek coverage through a worker's compensation insurance claim. When you suffer an injury while on the job, speak to a workers' compensation attorney about your injuries and possible disabilities arising from the workplace accident.
What Is the Difference Between a Temporary, Total, and Partial Disability?
Not all disabilities incur the same impacts or available compensation in a worker's compensation claim. There is a differentiation between the type of disability that occurs to workers when they suffer an injury on the job. A temporary, total, or partial disability can affect the percentage of the compensation you may be eligible to receive and the length of time you can receive benefits.
A Temporary Disability
In most cases, workers suffer a temporary disability when they sustain injuries on the job. A temporary disability causes impairment and restricts a worker's ability to work. However, the impacts are only temporary as the worker recovers. With a temporary disability, the benefits sought by an injured worker are temporary, and the worker expects to recover fully from their injuries and eventually will be able to return to work at full capacity.
A Total Disability
A disability classified as a total disability restricts an individual from returning to work in any capacity. A total disability causes permanent limitations for an individual, preventing them from carrying out any work duties. This does not mean solely in the prior position but in any work capacity. A total disability commonly occurs when a worker suffers catastrophic injuries in a work accident affecting their ability to function and live normally.
A Permanent and Partial Disability
When an individual's injuries lead to a permanent and partial disability, it is a disability that may not completely prevent an individual from working but restricts their ability to return to the line of work or position they were in before the accident. A permanent and partial disability is an injury that causes limitations for an individual to carry out specific work duties.
However, they may still be able to find other ways to earn a living. A partial disability designation allows a worker to receive partial benefits for the impacts on their earnings because of the challenges created by their injury. A partial disability is permanent, and there is no expectation that the injured worker will fully recover and regain the functions lost in the accident.
You may not be sure how your injuries may affect your future and your continued ability to work. Consult with a workers' compensation attorney for help in determining if you have a disability and how that may affect your compensation in a claim under workers' compensation coverage.
How Can the Designation of Your Permanent Partial Disability Status Affect a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Determining the amount of money you can receive for benefits for a permanent and partial disability is a complicated process. When filing a claim, the type of injury you sustain and the severity of the injury can influence the percentage of the compensation you can receive. Typically, during the claim, the insurer may provide a rating based on a doctor's diagnosis about the injury you sustained and how it affects your ability to function.
A disability rating that does not accurately reflect the type of injury you sustained can reduce your benefits for. A workers' compensation attorney can ensure the insurance company has the documentation necessary to prove the extent of your injuries.
How Can You Prove You Have a Disability in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Although the advantage of a workers' compensation claim is that you do not need to prove fault, you must still prove how your injuries affect your ability to work, currently and in the future.
You need documentation and evidence to win a workers' compensation claim, and any missing information can cause delays, a denial, or less compensation for your injuries than what you may deserve. Hiring a lawyer to help you prepare and file a challenging and tedious workers' compensation claim will avoid common mistakes that can hurt your case and prevent you from getting access to the money you need after a workplace accident.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Often, workers injured on the job can feel a false sense of security when filing a claim for their injuries. You may believe that your employer and the insurance representative in charge of your workers' compensation claim have your best interests at heart. While they may act cordial and concerned, these parties are competing interests in your claim, and their priority is to protect their own interests.
By hiring a lawyer, you can rest assured that your needs and rights are not an afterthought or overlooked by the parties involved. Your lawyer can help you ensure the claim for your injuries is accurate when filed and can remain in contact with the insurer and parties involved throughout the process, which can take time until reaching a resolution or approval of payment for benefits.
How Much Compensation Might You Be Eligible for in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The amount of money you can receive in a permanent partial disability workers' compensation claim will depend on various factors, including the classification of your injuries and severity. Your doctor's diagnosis and the rating of your injury can play a big part in how much money you may receive in payments for your disability. Other factors that the insurer can consider are the work you can do in light of your injuries and the amount of money you can earn compared to your income before the workplace accident.
When you are an injured worker with a permanent partial disability, you can expect that you will not receive 100 percent of your compensation as you can still earn a living in some capacity. However, you are likely eligible to receive benefit payments based on the seriousness of your injury and how it limits your ability to work now and in the future.
Benefits for a workers' compensation claim for partial permanent disability include money to cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income in consideration of your injuries.
What Timeline Can You Expect for Payment on a Work Comp Claim?
When you begin filing a workers' compensation claim, you will want to know when you can expect to receive benefit payments. It is crucial to understand that the worker's compensation claims process is anything but quick; however, the benefit to you, in the long run, is more than worth the trouble of filing and pursuing a claim.
In some cases, an individual may see their first benefit payments in a matter of weeks; however, more commonly, it can take many months for the claims process to complete its investigation and offer payment of your benefits through the insurance coverage.
As you prepare to begin the workers' compensation claim, you should speak with your lawyer to go over the most expected timeline based on your case's facts. Knowing how long it can take to begin receiving benefit payments can help you make the necessary arrangements and manage your day-to-day responsibilities and expenses as you await a resolution of the claim.
What Can You Do if Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, workers' compensation claims happen, and if they do, you are not automatically out of options. If you have not spoken to a lawyer about your claim, you must immediately contact one if you receive notice of a denial of a workers' compensation claim.
Although it is always better to call a worker's compensation lawyer immediately after a workplace injury, a lawyer may still be able to provide you with support and guidance in light of a claim denial.
A lawyer can evaluate the documentation of your injuries and workplace accident and the underlying reasons for the denial of the claim to help determine if they can assist you in seeking reconsideration or appeal of your claim.
Time Limits to Keep In Mind When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
There are time restrictions for a worker injured on the job to file a workers' compensation claim lawsuit under the law. The amount of time in favor of a plaintiff in a workers' compensation claim differs depending on the accident's jurisdiction.
Beyond the statute of limitations under the law to take legal action on a workers' compensation claim, an insurer has its timeframes for when a victim must notify them of an injury occurring on the job. The best approach as an injured worker is to contact a lawyer soon after you incur an injury to get guidance on what steps to take to protect your legal rights.
How Can a Lawyer Help You With a Claim for Injuries Sustained While on the Job?
A lawyer should not be your last resort and only a consideration if you run into trouble with a workers' compensation claim. Contact a lawyer at the outset of your injuries. Before you speak to an insurance company about your injuries and file a claim, contact a workers' compensation attorney. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
Your lawyer can help you access the evidence and documentation you need, can help you get access to the right doctors, and can help manage the parties involved, including the insurance company, to make sure that you stay up to date on information requests and developments that may arise during your claim.