It’s no secret that Pennsylvania workers are frequently injured on the job and that thousands of workers’ compensation claims are filed every year. But when it comes to serious injuries which inhibit an employee’s ability to do their job, the general public are unaware of how to go about obtaining compensation for their disability.
What is Partial Disability?
Under workers’ compensation law, a partial disability is any type of injury which prevents a worker from being able to perform their duties at full physical capacity.
Some of the most common injuries which result in a partial disability claim include:
- loss of vision in one eye
- carpal tunnel
- back damage
- nerve damage
- hearing loss
Claims typically aren’t filed or approved until the patient has reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI) which, depending on the type of injury, may take years.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
The worth of a claim and the length of time it will be paid out for vary from case to case. In some cases, a “schedule” of losses will already dictate what they are owed but for unscheduled losses, a variety of methods are used to determine how much may be awarded, depending on what state the claim is in. In Pennsylvania, unscheduled losses are determined based on the loss of earning power.
Loss Of Earning Capacity
In this method, an estimation of the workers’ ability to earn future wages is made. It also takes into account the employee’s age, training level, and vocational history. Then it is applied to a formula, which makes the rate of partial disability equal to two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury average weekly wage and the “earning power” after the injury.
It is important to note that just because you do not earn as much as you previously does not mean you are partially disabled, which is why you should always speak with an attorney about your claim.
When Should I Seek Advice From An Attorney?
As soon as possible after you’ve been seriously injured on the job. From the very beginning, an attorney can help you handle the stress of filling out forms and researching all methods of obtaining compensation while you are unable to work.
Regardless of the type of claim you are filing, you are more likely to get compensation in a timely manner if you work with an experienced attorney who knows the fine details of the system.
Are The Benefits For Life?
No. here is a limit in PA for the length of time for which an employee can receive partial disability benefits. Regardless of the injury, the cap is 500 weeks. However, periods of time of total disability do not count against the 500 weeks. If partial disability starts, stops, then starts again, those time periods of partial disability are added together to determine how many weeks of partial disability the employee has used. But periods where an employee has been suspended, and periods where there was a stoppage of work, where benefits were not paid, would not count.
Can I File More Than One Type Of Claim?
Yes. It is quite common for injured workers to file several claims. In addition to their workers’ compensation claim, they may also be eligible to pursue a permanent disability claim or a personal injury claim.
It also highly unlikely that one claim will cover all the losses that an injured worker sustains which is why it is important to be advised of all your legal options.
How Much Are The Claims Worth?
The amount obtained for every client is different because the losses sustained by every client are different. Losses that are taken into consideration may include:
- medical bills
- lost earnings
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma
Visit our settlements page to review the compensation we have obtained for our clients in the past.