One of the most severe injuries you can sustain at work is damage to your spinal cord. This type of harm can lead to a permanent loss or limitation of mobility, the need for ongoing medical treatment, expensive bills, and a reduced or complete inability to work.
In Florida, most employees who are injured on the job are covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. This is a mandatory benefits program that pays for your medical and rehabilitative care and replaces a portion of your wages. In situations where you cannot return to work because of your injuries, your benefits could include permanent disability payments. Talk to a Tampa, Florida workplace spinal cord injury lawyer from the Law Firm of Kevin A. Moore to learn more about your options.
A workers’ comp impairment rating is a percentage a doctor assigns to an injured employee that reflects the severity of their injury and their ability to do their job. Disability ratings are typically assigned to workers who have sustained permanent partial disabilities but are not calculated until the employee has healed to the full extent possible, also referred to as maximum medical improvement (MMI). A 100% disability rating means the employee is completely unable to perform their duties, whereas 0% indicates no disability.
The impairment percentage is then used to factor in a permanent disability rating, a formula that also includes:
This information determines what additional benefits a worker may be entitled to under workers’ comp guidelines. Calculating these numbers is complex and can be challenging to understand. Working with a Tampa, Florida workplace spinal cord injury attorney ensures you receive the maximum amount of benefits you need and deserve.
Spinal cord injuries can render workers totally or partially permanently disabled. Partially disabled employees will heal to a point where they will be able to return to work, but totally disabled employees will not. Both can receive weekly benefit checks totaling 66.67 percent of their wages through workers’ compensation.
While disability benefits are based on a physician’s evaluation and rating calculations, Florida law automatically grants permanent total disability payments to those who experience traumatic injuries, according to Florida Statute § 440.15(1)(a-b). Employees who are paralyzed in an arm, leg, or trunk because of a spinal cord injury at work are among those recipients. Wage benefits are paid until permanently and totally disabled employees are 75 years old or for their lifetime if they do not qualify for Social Security benefits.
An employer or insurance carrier can dispute this ruling if they can show a disabled employee can work a sedentary job within 50 miles from home, according to Fla. Stat. § 440.15(1)(b). With extensive experience handling every aspect of Tampa workers’ comp claims, including those related to spinal cord injuries, Kevin A. Moore can fiercely advocate on behalf of an injured worker to counteract any bad faith effort their boss or insurer may employ to minimize their costs.
Florida adopted workers’ compensation laws in 1935. They are in place to offer employees like you stability and help when you need it. You dedicate a lot of your time and expertise to your job, and your employer must cover medical bills and wages if you are injured doing it.
When you are involved in a workplace accident that affects your spinal cord, the repercussions can range from tingling and mobility issues to paralysis. Depending on your doctor’s report, you may be eligible for additional benefits to help you heal and move forward with your life as best as you can. Contact the Law Firm of Kevin A. Moore for a free consultation with a Tampa, Florida workplace spinal cord injury lawyer.