A permanent disability is an injury or illness that directly affects your ability to work. If you experience a workplace injury that is permanent and will hinder you from earning a living for the rest of your life, it’s important to understand your rights and how California workers’ compensation laws work.
Most people who are injured on the job recover. Unfortunately, some work injuries cause long-term challenges and even produce permanent damage to a workers health. The California Worker’s Compensation system is designed to provide medical treatment free of charge to the injured worker and provide wage replacement / permanent disability benefits for the permanent limitations caused by an injury or disease.
How Permanent Disability Benefits Are Determined
If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim that involves permanent disability benefits, you have to be extra careful. Make sure every detail is documented correctly and have all the proof you need to support your claim. The permanent disability benefits you may be granted will be based on the following factors:
- Date of your injury
- Examination from a qualified medical examiner (QME) to determine the impairment level (expressed in a percentage)
- Your occupation
- Your age
With this information collected, a disability evaluator or judge will then calculate how much permanent disability benefits you are entitled to receive. If you disagree with the doctor’s assessment, you may request a panel of three QMEs to re-evaluate you. From there, you must select one QME from the panel and set your examination appointment. If you have hired a workers’ compensation lawyer like Thomas F. Martin, they may be able to work with the claims administrator to agree on a doctor in the case of medical evaluation disputes. This doctor is known as an agreed medical evaluator (AME).
Workers’ compensation will typically cover job-related injuries that have aggravated a pre-existing medical condition. Many factors will be reviewed in this situation and your total permanent disability benefits may be affected by the knowledge of a pre-existing condition.
When it comes to any type of workers’ compensation claim, including claims for permanent disabilities, you have to make sure everything is done right. Any discrepancies, withheld information or inconsistencies in your documentation can hurt your case. That’s why it’s important to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer like Thomas F. Martin, who specializes in California workers’ compensation claims. He will help you get the most out of your claim.
To learn more about your workers’ compensation rights or to get started on filing your disability claim, contact the law offices of Thomas F. Martin today.