FAQs Workers Compensation Disabiliy and Impairment
Workers’ Compensation Disability and Impairement FAQs
Why is it important to let a lawyer handle my workers’ compensation claim?
You should let a lawyer handle your claim for a workers’ compensation because if you fail to do so and agree to a ‘clincher’ settlement, that settlement is final and you will never be able to reopen your case, even if your doctors were wrong about your condition leading you to believe that your injury wasn’t either as serious or as permanent as it actually is. An experienced attorney at Traywick & Traywick has a network of physicians and other medical providers in order to be certain that the full extent of the injury is understood and the full consequences of the injury are accounted for by the workers’ compensation settlement.
What’s the difference between a permanent impairment rating and a disability?
A permanent impairment rating is given by a medical or other qualified professional and represents the professional’s opinion, based on medical evidence and accepted medical standards, that a person will never recover fully from an injury, in this context, a workers’ compensation injury. The analysis is entirely objective and takes no account of the claimant’s workplace duties. In other words, one can be impaired but not disabled.
A disability is a subjective analysis into the effects of a permanent impairment and how that condition impacts one’s ability to perform one’s job. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will analyze a variety of factors to determine whether you are disabled: education, employment history, training, age, physical condition and other personal considerations that may inform the totality of circumstances. One can be impaired and not disabled, but not the other way around.
Do I get compensation if I return to work but don’t fully recover from my workplace injury?
Yes, but a physician must report that you have a percentage ofpermanent impairment that resulted from your workplace injury. If a physician does say you have a permanent impairment, compensation may be available since such a situation is a disability, even though you return to the workplace.
When do I get compensated if I have a permanent physical impairment and the result is a disability?
When your doctors release you from care and judge you to have attained Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), if they rated you as having a permanent impairment, or impairment rating (usually expressed as a %), a Conference with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will be held to determine your eligibility for compensation.
How much am I compensated for having a permanent impairment as a result of a workplace injury?
Incredibly, South Carolina law codifies maximum values to an injured worker’s body parts. The value of the body part is then multiplied by a percentage (%) of disability, if any. The percentage of disability is assigned by South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.
If an injury results in permanent disfigurement or scarring, do I get compensation from workers’ compensation?
Yep, but the disfigurement or scarring must detract from your appearance in a substantial manner. One of the tests is whether the disfigurement is visible from a distance and whether that part of the body is normally exposed during the course of your employment. A scar on your face is fairly simple to get compensation for.
What compensation can I get if I have a total and permanent impairment as a result of a workplace injury?
Again, South Carolina law caps the maximum compensation. In the case of total and permanent impairment, the maximum is 500 weeks of your modified pre injury income (hard capped by statute). Paraplegics, quadriplegics and those suffering other catastrophic injuries such as brain damage do receive compensation for the rest of their lives however.
How do I get compensated if I have Permanent Disability (whether total or partial)?
In either case, laws provide for one time payments to compensate you for disability, whether total or partial. If you are permanently disabled as a result of a workplace injury, you should discuss the matter with the Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer at Traywick & Traywick. Disability cases are complex and the adjuster or third party administrator handling your claim will aim to provide the lowest payout possible. Without an experienced attorney, you might easily accept compensation significantly less than you might otherwise be entitled to.
If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace injury in South Carolina, particulary in the Charleston or Mt Pleasant areas, contact the Traywick & Traywick workers’ compensation lawyer today. The consultation is free.