Construction is an inherently dangerous profession. Workers are exposed to major hazards on every job site, and even the most conscientious crews can experience devastating accidents.
Thankfully, those who end up getting hurt are usually entitled to financial assistance. If you sustained serious injuries in a construction accident while performing your job duties, for example, you’re probably entitled to workers’ compensation.
While such payments can help you stay on top of your finances as long as you’re recovering, they will end once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Depending on your disability rating at that point, though, you may be entitled to ongoing benefits.
Should you be worried about your financial security in the wake of a catastrophic construction accident, here’s what you should know about disability ratings:
1. What Is a Disability Rating?
After reaching MMI, you will undergo a number of tests to determine whether you can perform simple, everyday tasks on your own. During this comprehensive exam, your physician will evaluate your strength, balance, mobility, and flexibility.
Based on the results, your doctor will then assign you a disability rating in the form of a percentage. Also called an impairment rating, this number essentially quantifies your level—if any—of permanent disability. This figure will determine how much you’re entitled to receive in the form of ongoing benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
2. Can the Insurance Adjuster Challenge Your Disability Rating?
Carriers scrutinize every disability claim they receive, and it’s not uncommon for them to challenge the ratings in the process. If the insurance adjuster does not agree with your rating based on the evidence you present, they can ask you to undergo another exam, called an independent medical examination (IME).
If the results of this exam contradict those of the other exam, you can attempt to negotiate with the carrier. Otherwise, you will both have to appear before a judge, and they will decide which rating stands. A judge can also order a third and final exam to confirm the rating.
3. How High Do Disability Ratings Go?
A disability rating can reach 100 percent. Generally speaking, those who are deemed 100 percent disabled are unable to return to the workforce at all because of their physical and/or mental limitations. As such, they’re entitled to the maximum available compensation.
When it’s clear that a claimant has a rating of 100 percent, insurance adjusters are usually inclined to negotiate for a lump sum. At the end of the day, carriers want to protect their bottom line, and that means avoiding long-term payment arrangements.
Speak with a Long Beach Construction Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were hurt in a construction accident, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Waks for help securing every dollar you deserve. Attorney Waks isn’t afraid to take on even the largest corporations, and his track record proves it. He has recovered numerous six- and seven-figure payouts on behalf of his clients. To schedule your free initial consultation with a construction accident lawyer in Long Beach, complete our Contact Form or call (562) 206-1939.
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