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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

What Is Considered a Career-Ending Work Injury?


Any injury that makes it difficult or impossible for someone to continue working in their field may be a career-ending injury. If that injury occurred during a work-related accident, then it may be eligible for workers’ comp coverage in California.

A career-ending work injury can be devastating and dealing with it may be incredibly challenging. Not only do people who suffer these injuries face medical bills and income insecurity, but they also often miss out on having a career they enjoyed.

Common Examples of Career-Ending Injuries

Not all work injuries mean the end of an employee’s career. When recovery or accommodation are possible, an employee may be able to return to their job in some capacity. Career-ending injuries are those for which these options are not available.

A few common examples of injuries that can end one’s career include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation
  • Severe burns
  • Degenerative knee
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Stress fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Paralysis

It’s important to keep in mind that not all of these injuries may end one’s career. If the injury doesn’t affect an employee’s ability to perform essential functions, or they can perform these with accommodation for their injuries, then it may be possible to continue working.

When Does Workers’ Comp Cover a Career-Ending Injury?

Workers’ comp covers career-ending injuries that were sustained as a result of the employee’s work duties.

For example, a construction worker who suffered traumatic brain injury after falling from a high place during work may receive workers’ comp benefits for suffering a career-ending injury. By contrast, someone who suffers an amputation in a motor vehicle accident unrelated to their work is unlikely to qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

Workers’ Comp Benefits for a Career-Ending Injury

When an employee qualifies for workers’ comp with a career-ending injury, they may receive various forms of compensation. Workers’ comp typically covers medical bills, which include doctor visits, surgery, medication, and physical therapy.

Works comp can also open the door to the following disability benefits:

  • Partial Disability may be relevant to an employee’s situation if they are still able to perform some of their job duties. In this case, the employee can return to work, but must do so on a limited basis or in a different role than they had before their accident. Benefits for partial disability are assigned according to the extent of an injured person’s disability.
  • Total Disability may apply when it is impossible for someone to do to any kind of work. When this is the case, they can receive the maximum possible benefits.

Do You Need Help with Workers’ Comp?

Suffering a career-ending injury is devastating enough. You shouldn’t have to deal with unnecessary complications when it comes to receiving the help you need. Our lawyers at Smolich and Smolich can provide the legal support and guidance you require during this time.

Learn more during a free case review. Contact us today to schedule yours.