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What to Do if a Workplace Injury Resulted in Permanent Disability

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Being injured at work is a tough situation to deal with, no matter the severity, but if your injury caused a permanent disability, life can get hard really fast. It’s emotionally and physically stressful to cope with changes you can’t control that impact your ability to function. 

However, you do have some options to at least get your medical bills paid and possibly cover you financially so you can take time off or switch careers. If a workplace injury has left you permanently disabled, here’s what to do next.

Talk to an Attorney Right Away

No matter what, contact a local attorney immediately to discuss your situation. Although most of the time, employees are required to pursue a workers’ compensation claim and can’t directly sue their employer, there are exceptions. It’s not easy to figure out on your own, so even if you are being told you must file a workers’ comp claim, speak to an attorney right away.

permanent disability attorney will help you figure out your best (and legally required) course of action, whether it’s filing a claim through your employer or an actual lawsuit. For example, under South Carolina law, if a victim suffers the loss of their first finger, they are entitled to a percentage of the average weekly wages for 40 weeks. The loss of a foot means a victim could see a percentage of wages for 140 weeks. These details are important to know if you want to maximize your settlement, and only an attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the law.

An attorney can also help you fight an unfairly denied workers’ comp claim and negotiate to get you paid the highest possible settlement. Unfortunately, many valid workers’ comp claims get denied, and settlements are always lowballed off the bat. Whether you choose to file a lawsuit or you have to go through workers’ comp, an attorney will be a huge asset.

When you hire a reputable attorney, you’re getting access to unmatched expertise from a professional who has perfected their efficiency through various legal technologies and resources that allow them to spend more time with clients to fully understand their cases.

Stay Positive About Getting Compensated

It’s important to stay positive while you sort out the legal and medical details of your permanent disability. Don’t give up or lose hope just because the road is tough. Many people win compensation, and if you have a strong case, there’s a good chance you will, too.

According to the data, around 10% of the nearly three million yearly nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the United States result in permanent impairment where the injured party receives some kind of disability award. Most of the time, people who don’t receive compensation either don’t have a good case, drop their claim, or try to pursue the legal battle on their own without an attorney.

Focus on Your Healing

Even though you have a permanent disability, you’re still going to experience healing on many levels. It may not be a full physical recovery, but your body and nervous system will be working hard to recover from physical trauma, and it’s important to support this process.

Make sure you’re eating good food, exercising lightly, or at least moving your body if possible. If you can’t move your body or it’s too painful, take extra care with your nutritional intake to feed your body the nutrients it needs. Most importantly, rest as much as possible. The body won’t heal itself in a state of stress. If you have any physical injuries your body is trying to heal, like cuts, bruises, broken bones, pulled muscles, or anything else, rest is the best way to support the healing process.

It also helps to engage in things that keep you calm and feeling peaceful, like restful hobbies, watching your favorite movies, and meditating.

Consider the Impact on Your Career

Last but not least, consider how your permanent disability might impact your career. If you can get by with accommodations at your current place of employment, ask for those accommodations because your employer is legally required to comply if what you need is reasonable.

If there’s no chance you can go back to work at your current place of employment, or do similar work elsewhere, consider a career change. It might mean starting over, but you might be able to turn a hobby or passion into a source of income.

A permanent disability is devastating, but it doesn’t have to hurt you financially. Connect with a disability attorney for the best advice relevant to your specific circumstances.

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