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Permanent Disability

Fresno Permanent Disability Claims Lawyers

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Have you suffered a workplace injury that has left you permanently disabled?

If the injury was work-related, you could be owed permanent disability benefits from your employer's workers' compensation insurance company. Our Fresno permanent disability claims lawyers know how important workers' compensation benefits are when you cannot work or earn as much as you used to for the work you are able to do. We have a successful track record of recovering fair compensation for many injured workers in the Fresno area. We have detailed knowledge of California laws on permanent disability benefits and the claims process, including how to appeal if you are denied the benefits you deserve. When you hire one of our trusted attorneys, he or she can manage every aspect of your claim, advocating for your best interests.

Schedule your free, no obligation consultation today to learn more about the benefits of working with an experienced Fresno workers' compensation attorney. It costs nothing to hire us and we are only paid if our clients receive the compensation they deserve.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call us right now at 1-800-848-6288.

When Will I Receive Permanent Disability Benefits?

During your recovery, your doctor will evaluate your injury to look for any permanent physical limitations. If your doctor discovers anything, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. You will receive your first check within 14 days of your final payment of temporary disability benefits.

If you were not given temporary disability benefits, your first check should arrive in the mail within 14 days of your claims administrator being notified of your permanent disability.

Once you are approved for permanent disability benefits, you will receive a check every two weeks until you receive the maximum amount allowed by law or settle your case and are awarded a lump sum. However, workers who are permanently totally disabled are eligible to receive benefits for the rest of their lives.

If your employer offers you a job that pays 85 percent of your pre-injury wages and benefits, or you get a job that pays you what you used to receive at your old job, you cannot receive permanent disability benefits until a workers' compensation judge approves a settlement of your case or determines the amount of benefits you will receive.

Our Fresno permanent disability claims lawyers can review your situation to determine the value of the benefits you should receive. We can represent you in any legal proceedings, including before a judge to determine the amount of permanent disability benefits you will receive.

Call Berry, Smith & Bartell today for a free, no obligation legal consultation. 1-800-848-6288

Evaluating Your Condition

Many people who end up receiving permanent disability benefits receive temporary disability benefits first. Your doctor will be looking to see when your condition stops improving and has stabilized. This is referred to as permanent and stationary (P&S) or the point of maximum medical improvement.

At this point, your doctor will examine you to determine if there are any permanent limitations from your injury. If there are permanent limitations, the doctor will send a P&S report to your claims administrator, which will cover:

  • Your pain level
  • Explanation about your ability to go back to your old job
  • Types of medical care you may need in the future
  • Medical problems caused by your injury
  • Restrictions on your ability to work
  • Evaluation of how much your job and other factors caused your disability

This report is sent to your claims administrator and it will affect your claim, helping to determine if you are awarded benefits and the amount of benefits you receive.

The claims administrator will use this information to determine an impairment number that will be plugged into a formula to calculate your disability percentage. The formula accounts for your occupation, future earning capacity, age, average weekly wages and date of injury. The administrator will use the formula to determine the specific amount of benefits you receive.

Our Fresno permanent disability claims attorneys can guide you through the entire claims process.

Contact us today by calling 1-800-848-6288.

Disputing the Evaluation of Your Disability

You may disagree with what your doctor puts on the P&S report. If this happens, you have the right to request that you be examined by a qualified medical examiner (QME). These individuals are doctors certified by California's Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).

You must mail a request to your claims administrator, and include a Proof of Service form, showing where you worked before your injury. The claims administrator will send the form to the DWC Medical Unit, which will mail you a form with three QME's listed on it. This form must be mailed to you within 20 days of your request being received.

You must make an appointment with one of these three and inform the workers' compensation insurer within 10 days of the list being mailed to you. If you do not do this, the insurance company will choose a QME for you.

A Fresno permanent disability claims lawyer can work with the claims administrator to find an appropriate doctor to examine you. This is to your advantage because your attorney will be advocating for your best interests. This is why you should strongly consider having an attorney to represent you throughout this process.

Disability Rating

You may think you are receiving less benefits than you deserve, given the severity of your condition. This is why you have the right to ask the DWC for a review of your rating. The DWC is allowed to determine if any mistakes were made during your medical evaluations.

Send a Request for Reconsideration of Summary Rating within 30 days of being assigned a rating. This will trigger a review by the Administrative Director.

However, state law only allows you to submit this request for four reasons:

  • Evaluation procedures were not followed
  • There were mistakes when calculating your rating
  • There are issues with your condition or situation that were not addressed
  • There were issues that were not fully addressed

Our permanent disability claims lawyers in Fresno can help you complete this form, including the narrative section that allows you to explain in detail the reasons for your request.

If this does not work, we may be able to take your case before an administrative law judge. We are committed to pursuing the fair compensation you need and deserve to support yourself and your family.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today or call 1-800-848-6288.

Types of Claims Involving Permanent Disabilities

There are a variety of workplace accidents that can cause permanent disabilities. Some of the most common include:

  • Slip and fall accidents – Wet or slippery floors or unstable walkways can lead to falls from significant heights that can cause severe broken bone injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries can result in severe cognitive problems that can last the rest of your life.
  • Exposure to toxic substances – Some workers are exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes that can cause serious lung problems and even skin disorders.
  • Workplace violence – People who work in corrections and law enforcement are at significant risk for injury because they are dealing with criminals on an almost daily basis. Police officers can also suffer long-term knee injuries because their job is so physically demanding.
  • Machinery accidents – Defective or malfunctioning machinery can cause dangerous accidents that result in amputations, broken bones and burns.
  • Motor vehicle accidents – Workers at construction sites can suffer serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes involving passing cars and even work vehicles, like bulldozers and other construction equipment.

Some of the permanent disabilities and other injuries that can occur from these situations include:

  • Brain damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Cancer
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Joint damage, particularly in the knees
  • Lost limbs, including arms and legs or hands or fingers
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Damage to the nerves

If you are suffering from these or other permanent conditions, our permanent disability claims lawyers in Fresno know how difficult it can be to move on with your life. We are prepared to be trusted advocates fighting for the compensation you deserve. This includes going through the appeals process if your claim is denied.

Contact Berry, Smith & Bartell today for a free legal consultation.

Schedule a Consultation with a Fresno Permanent Disability Claims Lawyer

Permanent disabilities can make the rest of your life very difficult. Not only are you dealing with physical pain, limitations and the loss of the ability to do even mundane tasks, but your income is taking a significant hit.

The Fresno permanent disability claims attorneys at our law firm have seen how devastating workplace injuries can be to workers and their families. We want to help you recover and begin to move on with your life. We know you cannot do that without workers' compensation benefits.

When you contact us, we will review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine your options and how we can help you. There is no risk in contacting us because we do not charge for our services unless you are compensated.

We can handle every step of the process on your behalf. We have decades of combined experience with these cases and know what to expect and how to advocate for your best interests.  

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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