Disability is defined as the inability to perform one’s job, either in whole or in part, in the context of Workers’ Compensation. When an injured employee goes to a physician of their own choosing, the doctor will determine if the employee can continue to do that job or not. Disabilities vary from person to person and from doctor to doctor, and there could be contention over whether an injured employee is truly unable to perform their normal duties. An employer might be able to accommodate a disabled or injured employee, which would allow them to continue working for purposes of workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation is a compensation system established by the State of Mississippi.
Those who have been injured while on-the-job should get in touch with a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney. It is best to speak to a skilled attorney to learn about workers’ compensation claims for disability benefits in Pascagoula.
Temporary partial disabilities typically occur shortly after an injury when a doctor deems the employee temporarily unable to perform some, but not all, work duties. These disabilities can often be mitigated with treatment, and there may be potential for the employee to return to work full-time with some restrictions after a period of treatment.
Many different types of injuries can lead to temporary partial disabilities, but the most common injuries are lacerations, pulled muscles, muscle strains, and broken bones.
Temporary total disability (TTD) is the temporary inability to perform any type of employment duties, meaning that an injured employee cannot go to work at all while they recover from their injuries. TTD is paid at two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage.
Back and neck injuries, internal injuries, and serious broken bones cases can lead to a TTD. Serious lacerations, the loss of an extremity, and paralysis are other examples of injuries which result in TTD.
In Pascagoula, an injury that is not going to heal after a period of treatment could constitute a permanent partial disability. Shoulder, back and neck injuries most commonly result in an employee receiving permanent partial disability in Pascagoula. The medical provider would assign an impairment rating to the injured employee as a percentage after the employee undergoes a functional capacity evaluation with a physical therapist.
A physical therapist puts the employee through a series of tests to determine what the employee can or cannot do and matches the restrictions up with the injured individual’s employment. After a period of treatment, the physician may assign an impairment rating and place the injured employee at maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement simply means that the employee has treated medically to a point that they have fully healed or healed as much as medically possible.
The permanent restrictions and impairment rating will establish whether the injured employee has a long-term permanent partial impairment. Permanent partial impairment means that the employee has a permanent injury that does not affect the “whole” body. Most employees can return to work with permanent partial injuries, while other may not be able to return to their previous job but can perform some kind of work.
Scheduled injuries are injuries to the extremities, such as the hands, toes, legs, arms, or fingers. There is a formula that is utilized to determine compensation. Secondarily, there is a loss of occupational use formula used to determine what the injured employee’s compensation award is going to be as a result of a scheduled injury. Many unrepresented individuals will be told by insurance companies that there is “set” payout, but conveniently leave out the occupational use component of compensation. That is why a good lawyer is valuable to your compensation.
Permanent total disability (PTD) is defined by Mississippi law as the inability to return to one’s job or to perform any work. An employee could have a PTD claim and still be able to do some limited work, but maybe not their previous occupation.
Under PTD, the maximum that an employee can receive in Mississippi is a total of 450 weeks of compensation at two-thirds of their average weekly wage. There are certain minimums that are given and also maximum compensation amounts, which change from year to year. While the state typically increases these amounts each year, that is the maximum that an employee can receive.
Medical treatment related to the injury is unlimited.How A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Could Help
Employers are required to report all injuries their employees sustain to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission or Department of Labor. Injured employees should follow up to ensure they recover the compensation they need while they focus on their recovery. Often, individuals are so severely injured that they are unable to return to work. When a severe injury occurs, the injured employee will need workers’ compensation benefits to support themselves and their family. Schedule a consultation today to learn about workers’ compensation claims for disability benefits in Pascagoula.