Visitor Question

What are Workers Comp Terms for Permanent Disability?

Submitted By: Russell (Montana)

I fell and was injured on poorly designed steps. Others have also fallen there. The property owners have since changed the steps. I herniated my L5 vertebrae and went to a neurosurgeon, but he was not ready to operate. The workers comp doctor said that I was “7% whole body permanent disability.”

What does this mean? What happens next? Human Resources has not contacted me.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Russell,

Russell:

From the facts you present it appears you have only received one diagnosis from a physician we can assume was on your employer’s list. You have the right to ask for a second opinion and you should. But let’s talk about what the “7% whole body permanent disability” really means as it applies to any settlement. The 7% disability number is applied to your wages at the time of the fall. The process is a bit complicated so let’s take a look.

Take the 7% disability and multiply it by your yearly wages. Let’s say you make $40,000 a year and you are 40 years old. So that would be $2,800. So then you would take the $2,800 and multiply it by 25 years (until you retire at 65). That amount equals $70,000 dollars. Add to that amount inflation, any bonus, probable raises in salary and the number climbs up from $70,000.

Of course there will be a set amount of attorney’s fees depending upon the amount and form of settlement. The amounts we just calculated are based on speculation and cannot be held to be accurate in your specific case.

Human Resources will contact you soon and, through their Workmans Compensation insurance representative, or Claims Adjuster, will discuss a settlement with you. We should tell you because of the complicated formulas which are part of the whole settlement process in these types of cases you would be well-served not to agree to anything until you have visited with a qualified Personal Injury Attorney.

There are some matters which can be dealt with without the intervention of a skilled lawyer and then there are those which should not.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 28, 2011

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