You’ve been hurt at work, and you’re worried. Sure, you may know what workers’ compensation is and you may know it can help cover your costs. But, you’re concerned about what happens after workers’ compensation coverage ends and you can’t go back to work. In the state of New York, individuals who are hurt on the job have the right to fair compensation for their loss. The initial benefit many people recognize is a payment towards their medical bills. However, workers’ compensation goes further, providing you with protection for much more.
What Is Permanent Impairment?
Permanent impairment, sometimes called permanent disability when filing for Social Security Disability, is a term used to describe a condition in which your injury is permanent. A permanent impairment rating is assigned to you based on the severity of your injury and abilities. It is often used to help calculate the amount of financial compensation you should be given based on your workplace injury.
More clearly, permanent impairment implies that your condition – whether physical, mental or both, has been impaired as a result of the workplace accident. Keep in mind that many people have permanent impairment – it simply means you’ve suffered a loss that is not going to improve. That does not mean that you will never be able to work, but it may mean that you cannot work to the same level that you did at one time.
What Are Your Rights in New York?
Back in 2012, the Workers’ Compensation Board created Form C-4.3. It made some significant changes to the way permanent impairments in the state were documented by physicians. It’s possible to read through the Workers’ Compensation Board’s New York State Guidelines document that outlines this thoroughly. However, it’s a complex process and the calculations can be tough for someone who has not gone through this process previously.
In short, the Workers’ Compensation Board created a series of guidelines used to define the injured body parts as well as the severity of those injuries in an effort to place a monetary value on the loss you’ve sustained. With these guidelines, it is possible to determine how much of a settlement you should be awarded based on the amount of loss you’ve suffered. Nevertheless, this is quite the complex process and best left to your workers’ compensation attorney in New York.
How Can You File a Permanent Impairment Claim in New York?
If you’ve been hurt while at work, do not delay in seeking out financial support. We highly encourage you to understand your rights and how workers’ compensation works. We also recommend contacting our team and Paul Giannetti, directly to learn more about your case.
The goal we’ll have is to determine if you’ve suffered any level of permanent impairment, and if so, the severity of it. This is defined based on the degree of disability and the determination of how much loss of wage earning capacity you have now.
Maximum Medical Improvement
Before you can be awarded a claim for permanent impairment, you must have reached maximum medical improvement, sometimes called MMI. This too is defined by the state. It is not possible to reach MMI prior to six months from the date that the injury took place in any situation that does not involve a fracture or a surgical procedure. The goal here is to ensure you’ve healed and regained as much control and improvement as is possible.
You will need to undergo an impairment evaluation. This is done by a doctor. It occurs once you reach MMI. This is an important step in securing your claim.
Also, know that it is very common for claims of permanent impairment to face significant litigation. That is, insurance companies will try to discredit this type of claim.
Why Take Steps Now to Define Your Limitations?
You just want to get back to work. Many of our clients are just looking for help based on the losses they rightfully are owed. But, this is not the time to rush the process. The classification you are given here will play a significant role on the benefits and the type of compensation you are able to receive from the workers’ compensation claim.
We’ll Help You Through It
The most important factor to consider when it comes to permanent impairment is that, if you qualify for it, it can provide you with the financial compensation you need right now. Contact Paul Giannetti Attorney at Law for a free consultation to discuss your case. You can call his office at 866-868-2960 or contact the firm online for a free consultation.