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Workers' Compensation Permanent Impairment Benefit

Below is useful information for Workers' Compensation

Your Workers’ Compensation Permanent Impairment Benefit
By Eric M. Doroshow, Esquire

Please note that you are not eligible for this benefit until one year after the date of injury or one year after the date of surgery, whichever is later.

We are frequently asked how much this benefit will be. To summarize, Delaware law clearly defines exactly how the monetary amount must be determined. There are three parts to the formula:

  1. Which body part was injured—Delaware statute defines the “value” of each area of the body according to the importance of the body part to normal daily functioning, with a maximum of 300. For example, the spine is assigned a value of 300, an arm or a leg is worth 250, a hand is 220, and so on. In other words, the less crucial the body part, the lower the “value” it is assigned.
  2. Your Average Weekly Wage at the time of your injury—for injuries occurring after January 17, 2007, statutes mandate that your average weekly wage (AWW) is the average of your pay for the 26 weeks immediately prior to the injury. Two thirds of this amount is your compensation rate (CR), with a minimum and maximum that are determined by the state.
  3. Your Permanency Rating—this is the percentage assigned by the doctor during your permanency evaluation. It represents the percentage of function you have lost in the injured body part. The doctor determines this number according to the specific guidelines published by the American Medical Association. Doctors can differ on this to some extent, though.

The final calculation is as follows:

(Compensation Rate) x (Perm Rating %) x (Body Part Value)

For example, John Doe has a compensation rate of $400.00, sustained an injury to his lumbar spine, and has a 10% permanency rating. Thus, his benefit would be:

$400 x 300 x 10%, or 400 x 300 x 0.10=$12,000.00.

Please remember that these numbers will be reduced by the amount of legal costs and fees.

It is likely that the insurance company will have their own doctor examine you, and it is likely his or her opinion would be lower than our doctor’s opinion. After their doctor examines you, we will likely get an offer from the insurance company. Depending on this offer, and with your permission, we’ll seek to resolve your claim somewhere between the two ratings. If we do that, a hearing will not be necessary and some of the costs could be reduced or eliminated. If we can’t resolve the claim, we’ll proceed to a hearing before the Industrial Accident Board.

 

FAQ's

Q: Can I get a lump sum settlement for my permanent injury?

A: Workers' Compensation provides for lump sum settlements for claimants who have suffered permanent injuries on the job. The amount and extent of the recovery will vary depending upon the area of the body affected, the degree of permanent injury suffered, and the claimant’s average weekly wage.

Q: How do I proceed with a claim for my permanent injury?

A: These types of claims are very difficult for the consumer to handle on their own. Our office will work closely with you, your doctor, and possibly an independent doctor, to evaluate your claim for permanent impairment. Once that doctor determines your percentage of permanent injury, the Workers' Compensation law has set up a formula for securing these benefits.

Q: What affect will my wage rate have on this benefit?

A: Your average weekly wage will have a direct effect on the amount we can secure for this benefit. Our legislator has set up this procedure and we’ll work hard to maximize your recovery.

Q: Will I have to go to court?

A: This will depend to a large extent on the insurance company on the way they handle your claim. They’ll likely have you examined by one of their doctors (a defense medical exam) who often will rate a more conservative percentage of permanent injury. Sometimes the case can be resolved between the opinions of both doctors, but if it can’t, the Industrial Accident Board will make the ultimate decision.

Q: How do I get in touch with you?

A: We have six offices throughout Delaware to serve you. Please contact us today at 1-888-408-0606 for a free consultation at the office nearest you. Or E-mail us at: EricDoroshow@dplaw.com. If we take your case, there is no fee unless we collect for you.

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Workers' Compensation Attorneys: We have 13 Attorneys in 7 convenient locations in Delaware to help you through your time of need and ease your suffering. Click here to view our Attorneys pages and profiles

Eric M Doroshow

Personal Injury, Worker's Compensation, Bankruptcy.

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Personal Injury, Worker's Compensation, Real Estate.

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Personal Injury, Worker's Compensation.

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The information on this website is offered for general informational or educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. It is our intention to keep the materials current but there is no guarantee they are up to date. Do not act or rely upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney. Most of the attorneys in our firm are licensed and practice in the State of Delaware. The information provided in this website deals, for the most part, with the laws of Delaware. Although Delaware is the primary practice jurisdiction of our firm, we also have attorneys licensed in other states, including PA, NJ & MD. Eric M. Doroshow is the attorney in the firm primarily responsible for maintaining this website.© Law offices Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz and Bhaya, 2009-2015. This website is advertising material as defined by the DE Rules of Professional Conduct. Powered by DTOnline.