Rapid City Permanent Disability Lawyers
Helping Permanently Injured Workers in South Dakota
Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP believes in standing up for workers in all industries when they need help the most, which is why we are proud to offer our legal services for permanent disability cases. If you were injured at work, and your treating doctor does not expect you to ever fully recover, then you might be eligible for total or partial permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation. Receiving the benefits that you need can be a challenge, though, if your employer or their insurer does not want to cooperate. Leave everything up to our Rapid City permanent disability attorneys, and we can work towards the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Call (605) 519-6136 to discuss your options for permanent disability benefits.
What is a Permanent Disability?
As a patient recovers from an injury, the treating physician will gauge their health, symptoms, and overall recovery for signs of improvement and concerns. When a patient’s injury is no longer expected to improve or does not need to improve anymore, the patient has reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI). If a patient reaches their MMI but their injury is still causing them to experience hardships or health conditions, then they can be considered permanently disabled.
In terms of workers’ compensation and disability benefits, a permanent disability is usually a lifelong injury or complication that interferes with their employment or all types of employment.
A few examples of permanent disabilities are:
- Chronic back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lost limbs or digits
- Hearing or vision loss
- Respiratory disease
What is an Impairment Rating?
An impairment rating is the rating you will receive after your impairment rating evaluation (IRE). Your IRE will be performed by an independent professional. This rating is intended to signify how severe your disability is when compared to a typical level of health or functionality. You will receive a percentage rating between 0% and 100%. If you receive an IRE rating above 50% you are considered to have total disability, but if your IRE rating is below 50% you are not considered to have total disability.
What is the Difference Between Total & Partial Disability?
Permanent disability is only part of an injury’s description. It can also be sorted into total or partial, which will influence the disability claim noticeably.
The differences between permanent partial and permanent total disabilities are:
- Permanent partial: You can still complete some functions in your employment, but not to a usual capacity. For example, you might be able to keep working a register but only if you are allowed to sit the entire time.
- Permanent total: You cannot complete any part of your job’s functions due to the extent of your injury. Finding employment in any capacity could be unlikely.
How Long is Permanent Disability Paid?
Importantly, how long you will receive disability benefits will change based on the description of your disability. Even though permanent partial disability makes it sound like you will always get benefits, you will only receive benefits for a set amount of weeks, which vary based on the type of disability. For example, someone who qualifies for permanent partial disability benefits for losing the function of an arm can get benefits for 200 weeks, but someone who is considered to have a permanent partial disability benefit after losing just a pinky will only get benefits for 15 weeks.
On the other hand, if you qualify for permanent total disability benefits, then you are eligible to receive those benefits for as long as the disability exists. If your disability is lifelong and has been diagnosed as such, then you could receive benefits for the rest of your life.
Workers’ Comp Permanent Disability Payment Calculations
Currently, a worker who gets permanent total or partial disability benefits in South Dakota can be paid:
- 66-2/3% of their average weekly pre-injury wages
- $299 for minimum weekly payments in most cases
- $597 for maximum weekly payments in most cases
Get the Permanent Disability Benefits You Deserve
Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP in Rapid City can help you file a workers’ compensation claim that demands the most benefits available to you, including permanent disability benefits. While we work on your case, you can rest and take care of yourself. We know you’ll feel confident as your case progresses because one of the state’s most recognizable law firms has your back.
Call (605) 519-6136 or contact us online for more information.
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