If you are injured at work in Columbia, you may be entitled to received permanent disability benefits through Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws. There are two types of permanent disability benefits allowable under Missouri Law – (1) permanent partial disability benefits; or (2) permanent total disability benefits.
The facts of your case will determine which types of benefits may be available to you. Consider reaching out to a skilled lawyer to learn more about permanent disability benefits in Columbia workers’ compensation claims.
If you have suffered a severe injury while on the job, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits through your employers workers’ compensation insurance. State law defines “total disability” as being unable to return to any employment due to one’s work-related injury.
In order to be successful in a permanent total disability case, the injured worker must prove not only that there was a work-related injury, but also that the injury was so significant it rendered that person incapable of returning to the open labor market due to their medical restrictions.
This oftentimes requires the testimony of independent medical examiners and vocational experts. If the worker is awarded permanent total disability settlements, it would come in the form of a weekly payment in the amount of two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage (within the statutory cap for the state’s maximum wage) during the lifetime of the worker.
Sometimes someone may still suffer a severe injury, but the injury does not make the worker incapable of returning to the open labor market. Because injuries have a lasting impact on our health and may continue to be a hindrance to future employment, state law compensates individuals injured on the job through permanent partial disability benefits.
In these cases, medical physician testimony and wage records are necessary to determine the appropriate amount of compensation. Other evidence about job history and vocational experts may be important as well.
Missouri law uses the following formula to determine the appropriate amount of permanent partial disability benefits: (Level) x (Compensation Rate, or AWW) x (Percentage Disability) = the Permanent Partial Disability Award.
The Level corresponds with the appropriate number of weeks available based on the body part(s) injured. The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation provides a chart to help identify the appropriate level.
The Compensation Rate is two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, or the maximum compensation rate under law.
The Percentage of Disability is a rate determined by an Administrative Law Judge after hearing medical experts opine as to the nature and extent of the worker’s injuries. A seasoned attorney could help you calculate your potential benefits in a permanent disability workers’ compensation claim.
If you are hurt on the job, understanding how to pursue a permanent disability benefit sin a Columbia workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming and complex. The most important part of your journey after being injured on the job should be to focus on your health and recovery. Call an experienced lawyer to focus on safeguarding your medical benefits and financial future while you prioritize your health and recovery.