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Work injuries are not uncommon in Van Nuys and the surrounding areas. In most cases, injury victims are able to make a complete recovery. However, there are times when a work injury or illness is so severe that it leaves a victim permanently disabled. At Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz, our team is standing by to help if you need a Van Nuys workers’ compensation permanent disability attorney. Our team will thoroughly investigate your claim, help you handle any appeals, and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

When will you be eligible for permanent disability?

In order for a person to be eligible for permanent disability benefits as a result of a work injury in Van Nuys, they will need to have medical proof from a doctor saying that they have reached what is considered maximum medical improvement (MMI). This typically means that their recovery has reached a plateau, and they will not likely recover any more within the next year, even if they receive further medical treatment.

After a person has reached maximum medical improvement, the temporary disability benefits they have been receiving will end. If a person is unable to go back to work because their injury or illness left them with permanent physical or mental limitations, they may be entitled to permanent disability (PD).

How much compensation will be available for permanent disability?

The total amount of compensation for an injury that leaves a permanent physical or mental disability will depend on the extent of the disability. In general, we will see that there are two categories for permanent disability benefits – total disability and partial disability.

In the vast majority of cases, a person will only be able to receive total permanent disability if they are not expected to be able to work in any capacity for the rest of their life. Total permanent disability is fairly rare for workers’ compensation cases. Often, these cases will revolve around instances where a person has lost sight in both eyes, lost the use of both limbs, or has experienced total paralysis. A total disability could also be awarded if an injury significantly affects a person’s cognitive abilities.

If a person’s disability rating is less than 100%, the total amount that they will receive for their disability checks, and the length of time that those payments will last, will depend on their percentage of disability. The rules for determining a person’s disability rating are complicated, and we strongly urge you to contact our Van Nuys workers’ compensation attorneys so they can help you through this process.

The Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS)

There are various factors used to determine how much compensation a person will receive if they are permanently disabled as a result of a work injury. These factors will be evaluated by something called the Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS).

When analyzing a person’s disability rating, the PDRS is designed to analyze how an injury affects a person’s ability related to work, not necessarily how it affects their daily lives. To develop this rating, the schedule will analyze the injury type, the age of the victim, the job type, and a change in their future earning capacity.

The “whole person impairment rating” that a person receives from their doctor will be adjusted based on a factor set established by the Department of Industrial Relations that increases it by 40%. This will convert the medical level of impairment as previously determined by a health care professional to the level of impairment related to work.

For example, suppose a doctor gives a person a 20% whole person impairment rating. The PDRS will then increase this by 40%, which will, in turn, add 8% to the impairment rating to rise to the level of 28%.

The percentage will then be adjusted based on the job and the body part that is injured. Some injuries may result in a person being worse off due to the type of work that they do. For example, if a person spends most of their day working on a computer, an injury to their hands is going to be worse than an injury to their feet or legs. Conversely, for jobs that require a person to walk around all day, an injury to their legs will certainly affect them more.

Lastly, a person’s age must be considered. In general, the older an injury work victim is, the less likely they will be able to train for another career. This will increase their impairment level.

Giving a dollar amount to permanent disability

After a person gets their PDRS rating, it will then need to be converted into a dollar value. Temporary disability benefits are determined based on a person’s average weekly wage, and this holds true for permanent disability as well. Permanent disability will be determined by taking two-thirds of the average weekly wage. If an injury causes a person to be permanently disabled, then they will receive their first permanent disability payment within 14 days from the date that they received their last temporary disability payment.

We do want to note that a person can still receive permanent disability even if they are able to return to work in some capacity. The permanent disability will be based on the difference between what they are earning in their new job capacity and what they were earning before the injury occurred.

Call our Van Nuys workers’ compensation attorney today

If you or somebody you love has been permanently disabled as a result of an on-the-job injury or illness, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The attorneys at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz have extensive experience handling these claims, and we understand what it takes to secure full compensation for our clients. We will conduct a full investigation into your claim, help determine the extent of your disability, and work to ensure that you are properly compensated. When you need a Van Nuys workers’ compensation permanent disability attorney, you can reach out to us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-747-3447.