Thankfully, a majority of work-related injuries do not cause permanent harm. After an accident, an employee will typically get medical treatment, take some time to recover, and return to work shortly after. In other cases, an injury might cause a permanent partial disability that requires an adjustment in the employee’s duties.
Unfortunately, some work-related injuries are catastrophic. Harm of this nature permanently impairs employees, often leaving them unable to work or care for themselves. In such cases, they might be eligible for life-long benefits from the Workers’ Compensation program.
When you sustain a life-altering work injury that prevents you from earning a living, contact a Scranton catastrophic injury lawyer from our firm immediately. One of our dedicated legal professionals can help protect your future by building a solid case for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Learn more about how our firm can serve you by calling Gross & Kenny, LLP today.
Many people think of catastrophic injuries as those that leave a person paralyzed, blinded, or cognitively impaired. In the Workers’ Compensation context, the definition is different; a catastrophic injury is any injury or condition that leaves a person with an impairment rating of 35 percent or more.
If you claim permanent total disability benefits, the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurer will arrange an Independent Medical Examination (IME). Your employer also might order an IME if you are out of work for 104 weeks or more. The IME is a physical exam conducted by a physician under contract to the Workers’ Compensation Board. Here, the physician will determine whether your impairment is permanent and prevents you from gainful employment.
If your employer or their insurer asks you to undergo an IME or IRE (Impairment Rating Examination), speak to a Scranton catastrophic injury attorney from Gross & Kenny, LLP. A legal professional can ensure you know what to expect and help you prepare for the exam.
If you receive an Impairment Rating of 35 percent or more, you are technically totally disabled. In theory, you should continue receiving two-thirds of your pre-injury wage indefinitely. However, your employer or their insurer might try to fight paying you benefits.
One way they might do this is by asking you to meet with a rehabilitation specialist, vocational specialist, or similar title. The specialist’s job is to find work you could do, despite your impairment. In many cases, these jobs are for low wages—often minimum wage—in inconvenient areas or unsuitable for other reasons. Our catastrophic injury attorneys can accompany you to your meeting with a Scranton rehabilitation counselor and counter recommendations that do not serve you.
In most cases, employers and insurers are willing to settle permanent total disability cases. Settling makes needed funds immediately available to you and your family and spares you the hassle of continuing to fight with the Workers’ Compensation insurer for the benefits you deserve.
The law at 77 Pennsylvania Statutes §513 entitles a worker to payments called “specific loss benefits” in some cases. These payments are sums of money you receive if a work injury leads to one of the following results:
You can receive specific loss payments even if the injury does not prevent you from resuming your job.
The amount you receive depends on the body part affected and your wages when you were hurt. For example, if you lose an eye, you receive the equivalent of two-thirds of your weekly wage for 275 weeks. If you lose a pinky finger, you receive two-thirds of your weekly wage for 28 weeks. Each injury also has a specific healing period during which you will receive these benefits.
The Workers’ Compensation program does not publish a schedule of payments for scarring or disfigurement. Instead, you must go to court, and a Workers’ Compensation judge will determine the severity of your disfigurement and suggest a fair payment. Our attorneys serving Scranton could help you make a convincing argument for generous compensation following a catastrophic injury.
If an injury or work-related condition permanently impairs your ability to work, you deserve adequate compensation. A Scranton catastrophic injury lawyer from Gross & Kenny, LLP can help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Employers and their insurance companies sometimes use unfair tactics to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Our experienced legal professionals can defend you against their ploys and help ensure you get the maximum available settlement. Schedule a consultation today.
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