Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | August 17, 2023
The workplace should be a safe space for all employees. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and accidents may occur. If you were injured in a workplace accident and now have a permanent disability that affects your ability to do your job, you need to know what rights you have regarding obtaining permanent partial disability benefits through Georgia workers’ compensation.
The personal injury lawyers at Hasner Law have 80 years of combined experience helping clients receive permanent partial disability benefits after they have been injured in a workplace accident. Our legal team can help you understand your rights regarding workers’ compensation benefits and the permanent disability you now suffer from due to your workplace injury.
What Are the Initial Steps to Get Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?
After a workplace accident, it may take individuals some time to heal fully from the injuries they have suffered. However, some employees may never fully heal and may have a permanent disability as a result. While a permanent disability is serious, some employees may be able to still return to their job in some capacity.
If an employee has not fully recovered from a work-related injury or illness but can return to work in some capacity, they may be eligible to collect permanent disability benefits through workers’ comp. An employee does not necessarily have to be fully disabled or completely unable to work in order to receive permanent disability benefits. In fact, if you have suffered a disability but can still work in some capacity, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. An example of when a person may be eligible for PPD benefits is if their doctor has said they can go back to work with certain restrictions such as no overhead reaching or no standing for more than 30 minutes at a time. Before an employee can qualify for PPD benefits, they must go through the following initial steps:
- Meet the eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a trusted lawyer
- Follow the rules in Georgia for getting medical care from a workers’ compensation treating doctor
- Continue that medical treatment until you either fully recover or your doctor says that your condition is not likely to get better, even with more treatment. This is referred to as maximal medical improvement, or MMI
If you are unsure what steps to take to qualify for PPD benefits, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today.
Who Decides if You Are Eligible for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?
If you have reached maximal medical improvement, or MMI, your treating doctor will likely perform a series of tests. These tests may include an overall physical or mental exam to determine whether your work-related injury or illness caused any lasting medical conditions or lost function. These impairments may include any of the following:
- Lower back pain that does not respond to treatment, also known as chronic back pain
- A paralyzed limb
- A severed limb
- Permanent hearing loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The doctor’s opinion will be a significant factor in whether you are able to get any permanent partial disability benefits. For this reason, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise in a person’s workers’ comp case regarding the credibility of the doctor’s opinion. The insurance company may also request an independent medical examination, or IME, in an effort to counter the treating doctor’s opinion about any lasting impairments. In addition, you as the injured employee also have a right to request an IME. For this reason, it is crucial that you have the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Savannah, GA who can ensure you have a strong claim with the necessary evidence to back up your doctor’s claim regarding your eligibility for PPD benefits.
Pursue the Permanent Partial Disability Benefits You Are Owed Today
If you have been injured in a workplace accident and are now dealing with a permanent disability, you may be feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. That is why it is vital that you retain the help of one of our workers’ compensation lawyers, who have the experience to help you build a strong claim that will hold up your claims and credibility.
Hasner Law is a Georgia personal injury law firm helping clients get the permanent partial disability benefits they deserve. Our team of lawyers offers the caring and compassionate legal counsel you deserve as you seek benefits after you are injured at work. To schedule a free consultation, contact us here or call (678) 928-8784.