Protecting Benefits for Temporary or Permanent Disability
With more than 30 years of experience advising clients on California workers' compensation claims, Vincent Scotto has a good idea of what injured employees need to learn about the claims process and benefits structure. Most people dealing with the workers' compensation system for the first time have very little understanding of what to expect.
Contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. Scotto, III, for a free consultation and answers to all your questions about workers' compensation. While we are explaining the basics about the process, we will be getting the information we need to give your application its best chance for success.
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As a practical matter, most workers' compensation cases start out as temporary disability claims. You have been hurt and can not work, but it might take time to evaluate your condition, the severity and duration of the injuries, and any complications that might interfere with a full recovery. If you have missed at least three days of work, you will be eligible for full medical treatment and a lost wage benefit equal to two thirds of your weekly pay, up to a maximum of $728 per week in 2010.
Workers' compensation cases can get complicated if you have been hurt badly enough to miss several months of work, or if it appears you have suffered a permanent disability. The counsel of an experienced workers' compensation attorney can protect you when you have been cleared by a company doctor to resume regular duties sooner than you are healthy enough to do so. It can also help in the common situation where there is a dispute over permanent partial disability once you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement.
Most Disputed Workers' Comp Claims Involve Disputed Disability Ratings
Once in a great while, an especially severe head or spinal cord injury (for example) will result in permanent total disability, which pays lifelong lost wage benefits. Far more common is the award of a permanent partial disability benefit, which depends on the determination of a disability rating expressed in terms of percentage.
A disability rating of 1 percent means you will collect a reduced weekly benefit for four weeks, with the duration of benefits increasing with the percentage of disability. The highest possible permanent partial disability rating, 99.75 percent, pays reduced wage benefits for about 13 1/2 years.
Our job as your workers' compensation lawyers is to make sure that you are collecting benefits for the proper disability rate. We work with outstanding medical and vocational experts who can refute the insurance company's evidence of a low disability rating while presenting evidence of a higher rating. We help people with occupational illnesses, organ damage, reduced eyesight or hearing, and other chronic conditions as well as the continuing effects of traumatic injuries and permanent damage to knees, shoulders or wrists.
No matter what caused your partial disability, our experience, with the proof of disability ratings, can help you in a dispute with an employer or workers' compensation insurer. For dependable advice in Contra Costa County, San Mateo County or anywhere else in the Bay Area, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. Scotto, III, in Martinez or San Mateo.