Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to help cover the expenses of injuries that force employees out of work and leave them to cover significant medical bills. Unfortunately, some workplace accidents could leave victims with severe physical permanent damage.
If you find yourself dealing with a newfound disability after suffering an injury in the workplace, there is help available for you. A knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney could walk you through all your options and explain how your disability could be addressed in your Hanover County workplace injury case.
Disability under workers’ compensation is defined by Hanover employment law as the point at which a physician states that an employee is unable to return to work, or when a physician believes that they should only perform job-related tasks in a restricted manner either on sedentary duty or light duty restrictions. There are several subcategories of benefits that could be available to an injured employee depending on their circumstances.
Temporary partial disability applies when an injured worker is released to light work duty, but they are unable to earn as much as they were before the accident. The difference between their earnings before and after would be paid as workers’ compensation benefits at a two-thirds rate.
Temporary total disability could apply if a physician determines that an injured employee cannot work at all. It can also apply to an employee who has been released to light duty, but their employer is unable to accommodate the work restrictions their doctor recommended. Almost any injury a doctor feels prevents the employee from returning to work or which requires light duty can qualify for temporary total disability benefits.
Permanent partial disability could be appropriate when an employee’s injury disables a limb or extremity, or they experience scarring, vision or hearing loss, pneumoconiosis, or mesothelioma. The benefits awarded will be dictated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, but permanent partial disability is typically considered if a physician declares that the injured employee is at maximum medical improvement. A functional capacity evaluation would then be performed, and a disability rating would be provided, which must also be reviewed and approved by the doctor.
If somebody’s injury renders them disabled and unable to work, they could be eligible for a maximum of 500 weeks of temporary total disability benefits. If the injured employee meets certain requirements, they could also be eligible for permanent total disability, which does not have a time limit and continues weekly benefit payments indefinitely.
The workers’ compensation and disability processes in Hanover County differ because state disability does not require the condition of a work-related injury that prevents an individual from returning to work. State disability is a more encompassing program, and the benefits under the two are different.
An attorney could discuss treatment history with an injured employee and determine what kind of benefits they could be eligible for. Once retained, legal counsel could work to preserve an injured employee’s disability benefits in Hanover County.
Whether it is temporary or permanent in nature, a disability arising from a workplace accident could be covered through specialized workers’ compensation benefits. However, the existence of an injury alone does not guarantee access to these benefits, so it could be wise to seek professional help when it comes to a claim involving such serious injuries. Call today to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer about your case.