How is Permanent Disability Determined?

Categories: Personal Injury

Man with crutches

Experienced and Compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Individuals with Permanent Disabilities Throughout Washington

Permanent disability is ultimately determined by the disability rating. These ratings are used to then determine the degree of damage that resulted from your injury. A permanent disability rating, also referred to as permanent impairment, is one that is based on the severity of your injury. It is important to understand these ratings – as well as what goes into a permanent disability diagnosis – because this rating will ultimately determine the amount of monetary compensation that you receive in your personal injury case.

Permanent disability is often associated with workers’ compensation claims, but it also applies in personal injury. When you suffer from catastrophic injuries and you are requesting compensation for pain, medical costs, and lost wages for the rest of your life, you must prove that you are permanently disabled and unable to obtain gainful employment – even part-time employment.

When is Someone Permanently Disabled?

If you have suffered from an injury, your treating physician would determine your level of disability. Sometimes, people are only partially or temporarily disabled. That means that while they cannot work right now, they will eventually recover from their injuries and be able to work once again. In this case, an individual would seek compensation for the time in which he or she is estimated to be out of work – which is often the duration of their treatments and expected recovery prognosis by their physician.

If a person’s condition has reached a stationary level and there is no other treatment available and no chance of improvement, the individual will then be assessed for permanent disability. The physician will perform an assessment, noting any improvements that have been made in the treatment. He or she will also determine if there are any remaining treatments to be explored. If the doctor feels that all options have been exhausted and you will not fully recover, you can been considered permanently disabled.

Once you can show that your injury has long-lasting effects, known as a “residual injury,” the amount of your damage award will most likely increase significantly.

Common Residual Injuries

There are some injuries that can affect a person the rest of his or her life. But, some of these injuries do not leave a person permanently disabled. Therefore, you could have a life-long injury, but still be able to work. Some injuries that often permanently prohibit a person from returning to work include:

  1. Amputations of the arms or extremities
  2. Permanent paralysis
  3. Coma or vegetative state
  4. Deafness or blindness
  5. Nervous system injuries
  6. Traumatic brain injuries

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Permanent or Residual Injuries

In order to determine if you qualify for a permanent disability award or if you have qualifying residual injuries, you need to speak with an attorney. The team at Brett McCandlis Brown, PLLC is here to help you and your loved ones. We understand the emotional and financial toll that a permanent injury takes on a person. Whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of incident caused by the negligence of another, we want to help. Schedule your consultation now by calling 800-925-1875, or request a consultation appointment online.