Permanent and Total Disability
When we go to work each day, the last thing we expect to experience is a crippling condition. Whether it is an injury that manifests slowly over time due to repetitive actions, or a sudden, painful accident, harm that happens on the job is meant to be compensated by the workers’ compensation system. Although it seems straightforward, using this program can become complicated. One of the key aspects of a workers’ compensation claim is determining the amount of benefits to which you may be entitled. Greenville and Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney Patrick E. Knie has substantial experience representing injured employees in South Carolina and is available to help you file your claim for benefits or contest a denial.Pursuing Benefits After a Workplace Accident
The workers’ compensation system was designed to ensure that injured workers can receive compensation in the event that they suffer harm while on the job. In exchange for the benefits, they are precluded from bringing a lawsuit against an employer in the courts, unless a few limited exceptions apply. After falling victim to a job-related accident or illness, the first step to recovering benefits is to file a claim with your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Next, the insurance carrier will likely ask you to undergo a medical examination with a doctor of its choice. It is important to know that you have the right to ask for a second opinion, however, if you are not content with the insurer’s doctor. In the event that the two opinions differ, the workers’ compensation commissioner can enlist a third doctor, known as an independent medical examiner, to break the tie between the first two opinions.
There are two specific categories that the independent medical examiner will evaluate during your appointment. These two factors are critical because they determine both the amount of benefits that you will receive and the duration of your benefit payments. The first factor analyzes whether your injury is temporary or permanent. A temporary injury could be a back sprain, for example, while a permanent injury could be a slipped disc in the spine.
The second factor analyzes whether the injury affects your entire body or only a portion of it. If the injury is deemed permanent and total, the employee will typically be awarded the highest level of benefits, and these will be paid out over a long period of time. This contrasts with partial benefits, provided to individuals who still can perform some work, and temporary benefits, available to people who are expected to eventually return to working at full capacity. In some instances, workers with permanent and total disabilities may also consider pursuing benefits through the federal Social Security Disability system.Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg
If you have suffered injuries while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, we have substantial experience assisting injured employees with the benefits claim process and representing their interests against big insurance companies, who do not always treat them fairly. Spartanburg and Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer Patrick E. Knie can represent people throughout South Carolina, including in Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Cherokee, and Union Counties. Call work injury attorney Patrick E. Knie at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.