Personal Injury — Wheel Chair in a Room in Brunswick, GA
If you have experienced a significant on-the-job injury or illness that you will never fully recover from but still allows you to do some type of work, you should be eligible for permanent partial disability. But how do you qualify and what is the process? Although every injury is different, here are a few steps that your case should follow. 

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

One of the most important things you need to do is follow the medical plan of care your medical provider has created. This means if you have been asked to go to physical therapy, you need to ensure you do so for the number of sessions that have been ordered. If you do not, your medical provider may state that you are being non-compliant with your plan of care.

If you disagree with the established plan of care, you have the right to request to change the treating physicians or to seek a second opinion. Depending on what state you live in, this physician may be one of your choosing or determined by your workers' comp adjuster. 

Even if you have been in treatment for an extended period of time, it will not last forever. Once your medical provider feels that you have reached the point that your medical condition will not improve with further treatment, they will determine that you have reached maximum medical improvement. 

Receiving a Rating

Once you are at maximum medical improvement, you will be ready for your treating physician to assign a disability or impairment rating. They will perform an assortment of examinations and testing to determine the percentage of decreased functioning that you have experienced as a result of your injury. They may determine that you are able to work but unable to do the type of work you have done in the past. 

Once they have this information, doctors in most states, including Georgia, use the AMA's Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent

Impairment to assign a rating. This rating will range from 0-100%. Doctors will not only take into consideration your percentage of disability but also how it will impact your future earnings potential.

Calculating Your Settlement

Your permanent disability rating will help to determine how much monetary compensation you are entitled to based on your impairment. But this rating is not the only thing that plays into your compensation amount. To determine your permanent disability settlement award amount, the compensation board will consider the following:

• Your rating
• Your age
• Your education
• Your training
• Your employment history Your criminal history

The board may also match your disability rating to an impairment schedule, which they use to calculate the specific dollar amount or lump sum settlement you should be offered. 

Accepting and Releasing

Once the workers' compensation board makes you a settlement offer, you will have to decide whether or not to take it. This decision can often be a very difficult and confusing one. Unfortunately, the board will rarely offer you what you think your injury is worth. 

If you accept their settlement amount and sign the release form, you will not be able to recover any other amounts or future reimbursements for your injury. You will be liable for any future expenses you may incur. 

Hiring an Attorney

If your injury is significant enough to result in a permanent partial disability, you should make sure that you hire a competent workers' compensation attorney to assist you through the process. Alan David Tucker Esq. P.C. will be able to do exactly that. With more than 30 years of legal experience, he will ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.