A workplace injury that has a drastic impact on the life of the worker is sometimes considered a “catastrophic injury”. Catastrophic injuries can include significant back or neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or other situations where long-term, complex medical treatment is required. A catastrophic injury claim will typically take a long time to resolve due to the extended period of medical treatments and assessments.
Under workers’ compensation law, a worker who has suffered a catastrophic workplace injury may be entitled to receive lifetime workers’ comp benefits. However, insurance companies work hard to avoid paying lifetime benefits, which have a major impact on their bottom line. That’s why it is especially important for those who have suffered a catastrophic injury to seek an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Catastrophic injuries are rare. No matter the severity of your workplace injury, it is incredibly important to discuss your options with a knowledgeable attorney.
How is the Need for Lifetime Benefits Judged in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
There are several factors that help determine whether or not an injured worker is eligible for lifetime income benefits. Policy carriers analyze the worker’s age, work experience, education level, job skills, and what social security benefits they receive. In addition, insurance companies meticulously examine doctor’s statements. Also, rehabilitation specialists offer expert testimony to help determine the injured party’s long-term recovery prospects. This helps the court determine whether or not a worker will be able to return to the workforce.
The effects of a catastrophic injury are varied and numerous. In many cases, a severe injury can change the victim’s life in several ways at once. These effects may include:
- Disfigurement or scars
- Loss of senses like hearing or sight
- Permanent loss of earning potential
- Long-term need for medical treatment, special care, or medication
- Assistive movement devices
- Amputation and prosthetic body parts
However, these are just a few of the most obvious consequences of a catastrophic injury. A good workers’ compensation attorney will also consider the less apparent effects of a severe workplace accident. Some injuries can impact the victim’s ability to focus and concentrate, remember important facts, or maintain a regular mood. Traumatic brain injuries are especially pernicious in their widespread effects.
Workers who have suffered a catastrophic injury already have plenty to worry about. The road to recovery can be long and arduous, with treatments and medications changing along the way. Without the ability to work and afford basic living costs, workers must contend with workers’ compensation carriers and the legal system in order to secure their needed benefits.
Don’t Hesitate. Reach out.
If you have had a workplace injury, seek legal assistance. I’ve handled thousands of workers’ compensation cases. So I know how employers and insurance companies often work to minimize payouts and I can help workers secure their rightful benefits. Call or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.