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Workers Comp Updates

By June 7, 2023June 13th, 2023Workers Compensation3 min read

Loss of Use Awards

The amounts set for loss of use awards are usually based on the percentage of lost function in an extremity (such as a hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, foot, knee, or hip) based on the permanency guidelines set by the Workers Compensation Board. Recently, however, lawyers for the insurance companies are challenging the levels of loss set by both insurers’ and claimants’ physicians. These attorneys are saying the doctors involved (even those working for the insurance company) are “misapplying the guidelines.”

In this tough environment, it has become even more critical for those who have been injured at work to have an attorney who knows Workers Comp represent them as early as possible. An experienced Workers Comp attorney knows how to properly document injuries and include every function that has been affected by the injury in order to get the best possible settlement for the worker — and a fair award can be worth tens of thousands of dollars in tax-free benefits.

Working at a lower pay scale due to an injury?

Workers who have had to change their job or take a cut in pay because they can no longer perform their original work due to a work injury can claim Workers Comp benefits to replace the lost income. Since this type of injury has to fall into a classification set by the Workers Comp board, it is essential to have the proper medical documents to prove the highest possible loss of earning potential, which is why it’s important to have a capable attorney on your side.

Typically, the board rates individuals one year out from either the injury itself or the date of surgery for the injury, on a sliding scale. Workers can receive benefits from four to ten years after the injury, based on how severe the injury was and the skills of the worker. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will look at the percentage of loss of earning capacity and convert that to a number of weeks of additional benefits. An attorney who is familiar with Workers Comp law can be a big help making sure the ALJ has all the information he or she needs to award the highest possible amount of compensation.