In the last video in our workers’ compensation video series, Attorney Ben Schwartz concludes with the 5th and final thing you should know if you’ve been injured on-the-job.
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.
Today, we’re filming the final video of our workers’ compensation video series. I am going to share the 5th and final piece of information that your employer will most likely not tell you when you have a serious on-the-job injury. If you’re injured in a job-related accident in the state of Delaware and sustain a permanent functional impairment, you are entitled to a lump sum award of compensation. Your employer is probably not going to tell you that and you will never get it unless you go to an attorney that knows the ins and outs of Delaware workers’ compensation cases.
Let’s say you’ve had surgery or a serious injury that has not fully healed. You are not back to 100%. If you sustain an injury that is unlikely to fully and completely heal, you may have permanent functional impairment to your body parts.
I’ll give some examples of frequent cases where we see permanent functional impairment:
- Torn rotator cuff. This injury requires surgery to repair the rotator cuff complex. This often results in permanent functional impairment to the shoulder.
- Herniations or bulges of the disks in the neck or back. If those bulges or those herniations require surgery – or even if they don’t require surgery – they push on nerve roots and cause pain (radiating symptoms). This can result in permanent functional impairment to the neck or back.
- Injuries to all parts of the body. If you end up needing surgery as a result of those injuries, you may experience permanent functional loss of use. You are entitled to compensation.
We are often able to obtain a lump sum award of compensation for our workers’ compensation clients. Employers do not volunteer this information to their employees to say, “Go to a lawyer and find out how to make a claim for permanent functional impairment.”
We make a claim for permanent impairment by going to all the medical providers and getting all the medical records. We take all those records and supply them to a doctor who is experienced at giving a rating to the permanent impairment under the American Medical Association guide to evaluating permanent impairment. We get a percentage rating from the doctor (we pay the doctor to give us this information), and then we make a claim with the workers’ compensation insurance company for that functional impairment. We often settle it without a board hearing. If we can’t, then we file a petition with the Delaware Industrial Accident Board. We go to a hearing and present our case to try and get an award of compensation for our client. For the most part, we settle these cases without a hearing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this video series. I hope that you now know a little bit more about your rights as it pertains to workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If you have been injured on-the-job, you will need to go to an attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases. That attorney can get you to a doctor to rate the impairment and negotiate a settlement of that permanency claim or litigate the case if you can’t settle it.