Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
With more than 45+ years of combined experience, The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC can provide passionate legal assistance for your workers’ compensation case. If you are permanently disabled, we can discuss your options for seeking permanent disability benefits to provide financial relief. We have helped hundreds of clients achieve workers’ compensation benefits, and our firm can guide you through the Georgia legal system as you seek a favorable solution.
Call our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys today at (770) 741-2825 for tenacious representation.
Georgia Laws Regarding Permanent Disability
In the state of Georgia, disability benefits are known as permanent partial disability (PPD). This covers injuries that permanently affect part of your body. If you are injured, your doctor can determine if your injuries are permanent. If they are, he or she will provide a rating of bodily loss that the court will use to decide your permanent partial disability award.
Bodily loss includes:
- Limbs – hands, arms, feet, legs
- Extremities – fingers and toes
- Damaged or lost hearing
- Damaged or lost vision
Doctors can also rate your body as a whole if you are paralyzed or have lost the use of the majority of your body. In general, such ratings are used to decide how many weeks your disability payments can extend, and your employer must pay you 2/3 of your weekly wages. The bodily loss ratings must comply with the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, published by the American Medical Association.
Permanent partial disability benefits help provide financial relief to victims of workplace injuries. They will not start until your temporary benefits cease. This means your doctor must provide a rating to your employer before your temporary benefits stop to avoid a waiting period between payments.
What is a Permanent Disability Percentage?
In cases of permanent disability, a “permanent disability percentage” is often assigned to quantify the severity of a victim’s injuries. These percentages can range from 0% to 100% and are specific to each injured body part. For example, a person who sustained an arm injury and a leg injury in a work accident may be identified as being 75% permanently disabled in their legs, but only 10% permanently disabled in their injured arm.
Permanent disability benefits may be calculated based on this figure. The percentages also quantify an injury victim’s ability to return to work. The injured worker in the previous example may be completely unable to return to any work that requires frequent standing, lifting, or walking, but could still be able to work in a job that allows them to sit for most of the day.
How are Permanent Disability Benefits Calculated?
To calculate a permanent disability percentage, an injury victim must first be assessed by a medical provider. The doctor will evaluate the condition of their patient to identify the severity of their injuries and each injury’s effect on the patient’s ability to perform work. They will consider the severity of the patient’s injuries at the time of the medical examination, as well as their potential to improve in any area and return to some form of work.
To determine the amount of compensation you will receive through a permanent disability claim, your permanent disability percentage will be a major contributing factor. The settlement will also be calculated based on your salary (wage benefits are typically equal to 2/3 of an injury victim’s salary). There is no way to predict your benefits ahead of time, but that amount will be based primarily on the severity of your injury and the terms of your employment.
What is the Difference Between Permanent Disability and Total Disability?
The main difference between permanent disability and total disability is the possibility of the injury victim’s condition improving. Permanent disability includes any injury that is not expected to improve. Total disability is when an employee’s injuries render them unable to perform any work at all.
Disabilities can be either partial or total, and either permanent or temporary. A permanent total disability may include instances of paralysis or the loss of multiple limbs that leave a person completely unable from performing work. Permanent partial disability injuries only affect one part of the body, but an employee may still be able to return to a different type of work with a permanent partial disability.
Permanent disability benefits can cover the full expenses that result from a lifelong disability: Medical appointments, lost wages, occupational training, physical therapy, prescriptions, and medical devices are just some of the costs that may be covered. A person who sustains a total disability may be entitled to benefits to provide medical care and wage replacement while they recover. The timeline for receiving total disability benefits varies between cases.
Seek the Permanent Disability Award You Need with the Help of Our Attorneys
If an on-the-job injury causes permanent impairment, you can file a claim and seek compensation. It is important to communicate with your doctor to determine your eligibility for permanent partial disability. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers can discuss your options, help you file the correct paperwork, and represent you as you seek a favorable outcome. We are committed to upholding clients’ rights in court, and we can talk with you throughout the process to determine your specific needs.