Permanent Partial Disability vs. Lifetime Pension
When the Department of Labor & Industries or self-insured employer determines you’re your medical condition is “fixed and stable,” meaning no treatment will improve your condition, claim closure is usually next. If you have returned to work, then a doctor rates permanent partial disability (PPD) and the claim is closed based on the PPD rating. Written protest to claim closure and proof of a higher rating of PPD must be submitted to the Department of Labor & Industries within 60 days of receipt of the closure order. The attorneys at The Walthew Law Firm have extensive experience with seeking increased PPD ratings and PPD settlements.
If you cannot return to work because of a job injury, you may be entitled to a pension. To qualify for a pension, you will need vocational and medical evaluations that determine that your injury prevents you from ever becoming gainfully employed. A total disability, lifetime pension is based on your age, education, work history, pre-existing disabling conditions, and the physical limitations of the industrial injury. Rather than trying to live on a relatively small PPD award, a lifetime pension can provide financial security.
Let the knowledge and experience of the Tacoma Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Walthew Law Firm work for you. Don’t accept claim closure as the final say in your Workers’ Comp claim. It may be premature and an incorrect decision on the part of the claims manager.
Common Workplace Injuries and Occupational Diseases
Whether you are suffering from a broken bone or a repetitive injury or disease that resulted in days off work, you deserve to be compensated for your injury’s impact on your ability to work.
Common workplace injuries include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI);
- Fractured hand, foot, toes, or fingers;
- Knee injuries;
- Shoulder injuries;
- Elbow or wrist injuries;
- Chronic overuse injury, such as damage to tendons, muscles, or joints;
- Strains and sprains;
- Chronic neck pain;
- Chronic back pain; and
- Hearing loss.
Typical occupational diseases include:
- Lung disorders from occupational exposures such as Baker’s Lung, asbestosis, and occupational asthma;
- Joint injuries from repetitive use of vibratory tools such as jackhammers;
- Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NINL); and
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a common nerve entrapment syndrome.
Suing a Third Party – Injuries Caused by Someone Other Than Your Employer or a Co-worker
You cannot sue your employer or co-workers when a work-related injury or disease occurs. You can, however, sue another company or someone not working for your employer if that company or person is responsible for your injury.
When the injury was the fault of someone other than a co-worker or your employer, this is called a “third party.” For example, a careless or distracted driver swerving through a construction zone could be held liable for damages they cause to a construction worker. The construction worker could collect Workers’ Compensation benefits and file a lawsuit or claim against the driver.
You can choose to initiate legal action against a third party on your own or with the help of an attorney. If you receive a Third Party Election Form from the Department of Labor and Industries that says you may be able to take legal action against someone other than your employer, you should discuss your rights with an experienced third party attorney before you elect to have the Department of Labor and Industries pursue it.
Contact a Tacoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney Immediately
Recovering benefits through L & I is usually harder than it should be. Our attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the medical attention and wage replacement benefits that are owed to you. Reach out to The Walthew Law Firm to talk to one of our experienced Tacoma Workers’ Compensation attorneys today.