If you have been hurt at work, you will have a lot to sort through with your worker’s compensation claim. Not only that, but you will also have to focus on healing from the injury. If the injury is not too major, this isn’t necessarily a taxing thing, but if the injury has already shown signs of impeding with your daily life then it may be more than just a simple injury that will heal and never be thought of again.
Some work injuries will leave you with obvious impairments, like a back injury that leaves you unable to lift heavy objects anymore. This type of work injury may leave you eligible for permanent disability. If you qualify for permanent disability, even if you can still work, because you now have a limitation that prevents you from doing some tasks you may qualify for some pay out. This differs greatly from the requirements for Social Security disability, as in order to qualify, you must be completely unable to work.
However, what if you have an injury with lasting effects but does not necessarily place a huge and noticeable limitations on your ability to work? Like, for example, a broken leg after falling down the stairs. The broken leg will heal, but it may not heal well, as is the case with many workers. These situations can be a little more unclear. However, any limitation, no matter how small, can be seen as a permanent disability under worker’s compensation. This can be something as obscure and simple as not being able to walk on uneven surfaces because of a limp from your broken leg.
This may seem somehow underhanded, but even minor limitations can impede your ability to compete in the job market, whether it is at your current job or another if you choose to seek different employment. As you have even a minor work limitation, you may be paid less than your peers for what you can’t do. The payment that you receive from permanent disability is meant to cover that decrease in wages, rather than cover the all your wages like Social Security disability is designed to.
However, whether your work injury results in clear limitations or unclear ones, the most important aspect when seeking to be approved is the opinion of a doctor. This can be your own physician or any of the other doctors you may see during the worker’s compensation process. Having a doctor attest to your physical or mental limitations has a big effect on whether or not you will be approved for permanent disability under worker’s compensation.
Although, even if your doctors does not believe there is any lasting effect, it may be worth seeking a second opinion. Injured workers should also be aware that if the doctor you see is recommended by your insurance company, they may not always agree with a previous diagnosis of limitations. These doctors are part of independent medical exams that you do not need to accept unless your case is going to court. These doctors are specifically chosen because they are more likely to agree with an insurance company that nothing is wrong. However, if neutral doctors declare that your injury will cause limitations, in many cases these independent medical exams will be disregarded.
What happens if your permanent disability claim is denied?
If your worker’s compensation claim for permanent disability is declined by the insurance company, and you do not agree, contact us today. The law offices of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter proudly represent Minnesota’s injured workers to make sure they get the justice and benefits that they deserve.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.