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How Can Your Clearwater Workers Comp Attorney Prove You’re Permanently Disabled?

Depending on what you do for a living, you may be at risk of suffering life-changing injuries while on the job. Unfortunately, the insurance company may claim that your injuries are only temporary. That’s why it’s a good idea to meet with a seasoned Clearwater workers comp attorney and find out what your options are.

Here, we’ll explain what the law says about people who suffer permanent injuries at work. We’ll also discuss what your workers compensation lawyer can do to help prove that your disability is, in fact, permanent.

Workers Compensation Benefits in Florida

If your workers comp claim is approved, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Medical care for any injuries related to your workplace accident – This includes any direct medical treatment you need. It also covers things like doctor’s co-pays, ambulance rides, and prescription medications.
  • Weekly replacement wages until you return to work – These benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Workers comp benefits for temporary disability only last two years. If your injuries are permanent, your lawyer will fight to get you permanent disability benefits.
  • Vocational rehabilitation in some cases – If you can no longer do the same kind of work due to your injuries, you can take advantage of these services.

Your Workers Compensation Doctor Will Issue the Initial Diagnosis

One of the frustrating things about workers compensation is that you don’t get to choose your doctor. Only certain doctors are certified to handle workers comp cases. What will happen is the insurance company will assign a doctor to you once your claim is approved.

Your doctor will be the one who issues your initial diagnosis. If, for some reason, you disagree with this diagnosis, make sure you let your Clearwater workers comp attorney know immediately. They can always get a second opinion to see if your injuries are more serious than the doctor says they are.

workers compensation for permanent disability

Your Doctor Will Also Design Your Treatment Plan

Your worker’s comp doctor is also the one who will come up with your treatment plan. It’s important that you follow this plan and comply with your doctor’s instructions.

If you don’t do this, the insurance company may claim that your injuries are only permanent because you failed to follow your treatment plan. They’ll argue that you wouldn’t have suffered a permanent disability had you just done what your doctor told you to do.

If this happens, your workers’ compensation lawyer can always get a second opinion. They can also hire an expert if need be to prove that your permanent disability was unavoidable.

What Happens If You’re Permanently Disabled?

In Florida, you can only collect workers compensation benefits for 104 weeks. Once this time is up, one of two things will happen. Either you return to work or find another job. Or you’ll be deemed permanently disabled.

What is likely to happen is that your doctor will declare that you’ve achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI). This usually happens a lot sooner than two years. MMI simply means that you have reached the point at which future medical care is futile.

It is at this point that your disability rating will be determined. This number represents the loss of function from your injury. For example, imagine that you injured your back at work. You worked as a warehouse employee. Part of your job is lifting heavy packages and totes. Your workers comp doctor wasn’t able to fully heal your back. They issue a disability rating of 75%.

In this case, you would likely be entitled to partial disability wage loss benefits. The Florida Uniform Permanent Impairment Rating Schedule outlines how much each body part is worth.

Your Clearwater Workers Comp Attorney Can Challenge the Doctor’s Findings

If you’re confident that your back is in worse shape than your doctor says it is, let your Clearwater workers comp attorney know. They can have you see another doctor and get a second opinion.

Depending on what this second doctor says, your lawyer can challenge your workers compensation doctor’s disability rating. If they can successfully do this, you will receive the medical care and benefits you deserve.

What If You Can’t Work in Any Job?

If you can’t work in any job, you can receive permanent total disability benefits until you turn 75 or for life if you don’t qualify for social security benefits. It’s difficult to prove that you qualify for these benefits.

We Can Help If You’re Permanently Disabled After a Work Accident

Most employees who get hurt on the job trust that their employer will do the right thing. They often can’t imagine that their workers’ compensation claim would be denied. Sadly, our Clearwater workers’ compensation lawyers have seen this happen time and time again.

Even if your initial claim is approved, your employer and their insurance company may not agree that you’re permanently disabled. If this happens, you need a workers comp attorney to fight for you.

We suggest you call our office and talk to one of our associates. Sit down and discuss your case with someone who knows the law. All you have to do is call us at 954-833-5226 and schedule your free, initial consultation.