If you’re a worker in the state of California, you must be well aware of your rights and compensation benefits. Suppose you ever or have been injured in a work accident. In that case, the California workers’ compensation law should cover your benefits including long-term injuries. The amount you get depends on your average weekly wage before the accident.
Recovering From the Injury
Once you have received complete treatment and recovered from your injuries, your primary physician will label your condition as “permanent and stationary.” That means you are tagged as recovered to the fullest extent possible.
Your physician will issue a Permanent and Stationary report. The contents of the report will be:
- Work restrictions or limitations, if any
- Needed future medical care
- Description of specific medical problems like pain levels and range of motion for injured body parts
- Confirmation of being fit to work
- Estimated percentage of your disability caused by work-related injury compared with disability caused by other factors
Permanent Disability Rating
You’ll be assigned a permanent disability rating in percentage once you’ve completed your active treatment and your condition has become permanent. This rating determines how much of your functional movements and daily living activities are limited by your disability. Your benefits will depend on this rating.
It considers different factors:
- Medical condition as stated in the permanent and stationary report
- Date of injury
- Your age at the time of injury
- Your occupation at the time of the injury
- How much of your disability was caused by your job compared with other factors
The rating is then multiplied by an adjustment factor. For instance, if your injury happened in 2013 or later, it will be multiplied by 1.4 to arrive at your final permanent disability rating.
If you have a rating from one to 99, you are permanently partially disabled. If it’s 100 percent, it classifies you as permanently and totally disabled.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits
If you are classified under permanent partial disability, you may receive the full amount of your benefits equally spread out over a fixed number of weeks. If you are rated under permanently and totally disabled, you may receive your benefits for the rest of your life.
As you settle your case, future payments will be calculated and incorporated into your settlement, a lump sum payment of all your remaining benefits to close out your claim. If you have a permanent total disability, your life expectancy will be calculated and used as the basis for your future payments.
Settling a Long-Term Injury Case
A long-term injury necessitates ongoing medical care, sometimes even after the case has concluded. Your attorney may negotiate a settlement that includes additional compensation for any expected future medical costs.
However, you should also know that settling your case and receiving additional compensation for expected medical costs will now be your responsibility. That means the insurance carrier will no longer pay for your ongoing treatment.
While every case is different, your workers’ compensation attorney will explain to you the settlement terms before you agree to anything.
You should be aware of the benefits you are eligible to receive if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident. A top workers’ compensation attorney can explain all terms of your settlement and help you get the benefits you are entitled to.
Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers, are at your service if you need assistance for your long-term injury case. We help the hardworking heroes of our community fight insurance companies so you can get the benefits and the settlement you deserve. We are workers’ compensation attorneys serving all of Northern California, with offices in Oakland, Tracy, Concord, San Jose, Stockton, and Sacramento. Call us at 800-606-6999 for a free consultation.