You can usually count on workers' comp insurance to cover your workplace injuries. No matter what kind of injury, from sudden accidents to repetitive strain injuries to mental issues, workers' comp will cover your medical bills and allow you time to recuperate at home. When the worst happens and your injury doesn't get better, you may be dealing with a permanent injury. Read on to learn more about the different phases of workers' comp and how to deal with a partial permanent injury.
Workers' Comp Phases
Immediate: This phase begins the moment of your injury and continues for weeks or even months, but it is meant to be of a temporary nature. Most people spend some time at home getting better and then return to work during this initial phase. If you are unable to return to work in a timely manner, you may be asked to undergo a special type of medical exam performed by a workers' comp doctor. The results of this exam determine whether or not you will continue to receive benefits or be asked to return to work.
Permanent: If the medical exam results in you being ruled at maximum medical improvement (MMI), you essentially have an injury that is not expected to improve any further. You are not expected to return to work, or you are not very likely to be able to return to work in your previous position. You may be able to be retrained in another position, however, depending on the nature of your injury.
Partial permanent benefits: In some cases, you may receive a ruling of a partial permanent disability. This ruling usually comes with a percentage of disability. For example, you may have a ruling of being 50% permanently disabled. Often, you may be able to still work at an alternate position, and you will be offered compensation to make up for the missing percentage. In the example above, you will be eligible to be paid 50% of your previous salary for the remainder of your working days.
The final phase of a permanent disability ruling is the negotiation phase. You should understand that you do not have to take the initial offer from the workers' comp insurance carrier. Keep in mind that you may never be able to earn a full-time living again, so ensuring that you get top dollar should be a high priority when you negotiate. Be sure to get the help of a workers' comp attorney for this vital part of the workers' comp process.
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