Torrance Permanent Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

When you are injured or fall ill because of your job, you may be familiar with the type of insurance the law requires all employers to carry. Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to part-time and full-time employees while they recover from a work-related injury.

But what happens if your injury is severe enough to restrict you indefinitely from the work you once performed or prevents you from returning to any kind of work? Talk to an attorney about Torrance permanent disability workers’ compensation claims for answers to all your questions.

Benefits Included in Permanent Disability

Benefits include medical care for job-related injuries and illnesses and a percentage of wages for a specified time based on the worker’s average earnings. Additionally, when workers are deemed permanently disabled (PD), which the state describes as a lasting disability affecting the workers’ ability to earn a living, additional benefits are available. These include:

  • Ongoing payments to supplement lost wages when the permanent disability rating is 100 percent
  • A supplemental job displacement voucher for job retraining when the disabled employee is not offered light duty or cannot go back to work for a current employer
  • A possible lump sum payment for retraining
  • Death benefits to family members

Most employees can return to their jobs with few lasting effects. Many permanently disabled workers with low assessment percentages also return to work without problems. To ensure that an employee navigates the workers’ compensation system and gets the best outcome, a Torrance lawyer should oversee the permanent disability claims process.

How is Permanent Disability Determined?

Physicians hold the key to an employee’s disability rating. Their findings inform the judge or disability evaluator so they can calculate how much money the person will receive each month. Either a family physician or a qualified medical evaluator (QME) who works for the workers’ compensation system, examines an injured worker to determine how an injury affects their ability to work. This finding is expressed as a percentage of disability after the physician decides the patient is stable and will not get any better, called maximum medical improvement (MMI). The percentage is combined with the patient’s age and occupation, which is used in a formula to determine benefits.

The physician reports to the workers’ compensation claims adjustor to disclose their opinion about a patient’s disability rating and if the injury is work-related or resulting from something else. This apportionment also affects a disability rating because prior conditions exacerbated by working conditions will not rate as highly as those caused solely by a job. An attorney can determine whether an injured person should challenge a permanent disability rating and receive more benefits.

When Injured Workers Disagree with a Ruling

When injured workers disagree with the disability rating assigned by the judge or disability evaluator, they will be afforded the opportunity to pick one physician from a panel of three QMEs. This physician conducts another assessment to confirm or challenge the first medical opinion.

We Focus on Torrance Permanent Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

The workers’ compensation system includes permanent disability benefits when a workplace accident or illness affects your ability to work. When you can return to light duty or retrain for a job that accommodates your disability, you can still receive a monthly check based on the percentage of function you have after you reach MMI.

The process is a lifesaver but is complex to navigate. You are dealing with your employer, the insurer, a claims adjustor, several physicians, a judge, and a disability evaluator. Before you undertake this journey, contact us. Our lawyers can help with Torrance permanent disability workers’ compensation claims.