Permanent Partial Disability Awards in Workers' Comp Cases
If you are injured while working, you need the help of a strong and experienced advocate to protect your rights. Company nurses, insurance company representatives, or their hired attorneys do not put your interests above their own, which can hinder or prevent you from achieving full compensation and a complete medical recovery. The goals of the employer and its insurance company to control costs can often be at odds with the interests of the injured worker. At the Kocian Law Group, our CT workers’ compensation lawyers believe in leveling the playing field by making sure injured workers are well-informed, well-directed, and well-represented.
What is Permanent Partial Disability?
When an injured worker suffers the effects of an injury months or years after the event, he or she may seek payments for “permanent partial disability.” The term “permanent partial disability” has a specific meaning in workers’ compensation law. Simply put, permanent partial disability is compensation for permanent loss of function of one or more specific body parts. The body parts covered by permanent partial disability include the obvious: fingers, hands, arms, neck, back, legs, feet, and toes. The law also includes not-so-obvious body parts such as internal organs, including the brain, heart, and kidneys. Provision is also made for permanent loss of sight and loss or impairment of other organs or body parts. Kocian Law Group attorneys will fight to obtain all permanent partial disability available to you under law.
Many injured workers suffer from amputation injuries. Amputation injuries most often affect arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes, but other body parts may also suffer amputation. Workers’ compensation injury awards for the loss of fingers and thumbs are set by statute, but many physicians and insurance company representatives don’t realize this. For example, the law sees loss of one joint section of a finger as a 50 percent loss of that finger. A physician or layperson unfamiliar with this rule may not realize that the 50 percent disability applies even if the joint lost amounts to less than 50 percent of the finger’s actual length. Kocian Law Group Attorneys can maximize the value of many such amputation injuries through our understanding of the statutes and case law. Do not leave legal questions up to chance or up to the employer or physician.
Permanent Partial Disability for Minor Injuries
When an injury is subtle, a worker may not realize he or she can claim permanent partial disability for it. For example, a relatively small (5%) loss of use of the back or spine may be worth thousands in permanent partial disability benefits for an injured worker. If asked, a physician can measure subtle injuries using sensitive instruments that calculate loss of motion, allowing the doctor to quantify the loss. Injuries to the brain, the cranial nerves, or the heart are not as easily quantifiable, but if they can be quantified, they may qualify a worker for permanent partial disability as well. Finally, a permanent partial disability award is not a settlement; many conditions worsen with time, making the injured person eligible for additional compensation. However, many benefits for worsening injuries go unclaimed or unmeasured, leaving the injured person uncompensated.
Kocian Law Group attorneys know how to identify situations in which permanent partial disability awards can be claimed and – more importantly – how to claim them. We also know how to maximize your award. Permanent partial disability often requires skill to recognize and claim. Let us use our experience so that your permanent partial disability award does not go unclaimed. If you were injured on the job and are still suffering from the effects of the injury, contact the Kocian Law Group for a free consultation concerning a permanent partial disability.