Visalia Permanent Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you are injured on the job, the oldest social insurance program, workers’ compensation, should cover your losses. You benefit because this insurance reimburses your medical bills and lost wages quickly, regardless of who caused the injuries. When your injury leaves you permanently disabled, either totally or partially, workers’ compensation covers that, too.

Permanent disability is the system’s way of helping to compensate you for the wages you will not be able to earn because of a life-changing injury such as a traumatic brain injury or the loss of an arm. When you are recently injured or disagree with the disability rating assigned to your injury, you could file Visalia permanent disability workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation attorney could help you secure the benefits you need to recover and move on.

The Difference Between Total and Partial Permanent Disability

Both total and partial permanent disability renders an employee disabled forever. The difference is that employees who are partially disabled may eventually be able to return to work, while totally disabled employees usually will not. Both receive weekly checks totaling two-thirds of their wages. Totally disabled workers will receive checks for a lifetime. Partially disabled workers in Visalia receive payments for a specific number of weeks based on California Labor Code 4658, which factors in the date of the injury and the employee’s disability rating.

Disability Rating Calculation

Treating physicians assign impairment ratings as a percentage of whole-person impairment. Once an employee sustains an injury at work, receives emergency care, and is stable, they will see a treating physician for evaluation. The physician issues a report based on American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines, which includes determining pain levels and relying on tests, such as computerized tomography (CT) scans and MRIs. The physician issues a whole percent impairment percentage converted into a permanent disability rating, which is a formula based on several factors, including:

  • The type of injury
  • The age of the employee
  • The duties and job title of the employee
  • Whether the employee’s future earning capacity will change because of the injury

Permanent disability can take time to calculate, and an employee generally receives temporary disability payments for a finite time. Permanent payments begin when temporary payments end, arriving within 14 days of the end of the limited period.

The state is adamant about employee benefits easing the stress of a catastrophic injury or illness. A Visalia workers’ compensation claims attorney could evaluate an injury and advise whether an employee should seek permanent disability status.

Can Impairment and Disability Ratings be Challenged?

An employee who disagrees with the physician’s impairment rating and the subsequent disability rating can challenge them. A person can ask a different physician to provide a second opinion when the impairment rating is in question.

When a disability rating is in question, an attorney could send a dispute letter to the insurance company handling the claim. The legal representative will negotiate with the insurer to correct the disability rating. If no agreement is reached, a workers’ compensation judge will hear evidence from both sides and rule on the disability rating.

A skilled attorney should represent a claim to maximize permanent disability workers’ compensation benefits. Insurance companies are renowned for putting profits first. A worker injured for life should have an advocate in their corner.

Get Help With Visalia Permanent Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

You take pride in your work and probably do not worry about getting hurt or falling ill on the job, but it happens every day. When you are permanently disabled, partially or totally, consider applying for workers’ compensation disability benefits. A physician will scrutinize and rate your condition; you need a competent attorney to ensure you get the maximum benefits.

Let us help. Whether you are navigating the insurance system for the first time, disagree with the percentage of whole-person impairment the treating physician assigned to you, or have a problem with the insurer’s interpretation of your permanent rating, our lawyers understand Visalia permanent disability workers’ compensation claims. Call today to discuss your legal options.