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Workers' Compensation Cases for Career-Ending Injuries

On the job injuries can vary in seriousness. While most injuries are minor and require just minor medical treatment in order for the victim to make a full recovery, a small percentage can be so catastrophic and impactful they can lead to someone losing their ability to be gainfully employed. Career-ending injuries can seem like an overwhelming burden, especially for someone with a family they were supporting and bills they need to pay, along with now-significant medical costs.

Fortunately, these injuries do still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, but they are handled differently. Your benefits are not the same as someone who is only temporarily injured, and likewise the benefits you’re eligible to receive are also different. Let’s take a look at what happens in these cases in more detail.

Permanent Disability

If your injury is so bad that you cannot be reasonably expected to recover and return to work in the same capacity that you did before, you will be considered to be “permanently disabled.” There are two types of permanent disability: “total” and “partial.” Partial disability means you still retain some of your ability to work, though you may require a major career change, often involving re-training and education to accommodate your new condition. Any disability level below 100 percent is considered a “partial disability” and does not qualify for total disability benefits.

When this is the case, you could qualify to receive “supplemental job displacement benefits,” which allow you up to $6,000 to fund training for a new job either in a California public school or several other different state-approved training providers. However, you can only receive these benefits if your employer does not offer you appropriate modified work.

Permanent total disability is when your condition is so bad you can’t be expected to work in any substantially gainful fashion ever again. These are the most severe injuries, often involving paralysis, amputations, severe burns, spinal cord injuries, vision and hearing loss, and much more. In these instances, you are entitled to receive weekly workers’ compensation payments, medical treatment benefits, and much more. However, because these cases are so expensive and severe, they are reserved for only the most catastrophic injuries.

To find out more about what benefits are available for those who have suffered a catastrophic, career-ending injury, talk to a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney from Smolich and Smolich today! Dial (916) 571-0400 to schedule a consultation.