In a recent article titled “How Much Is Your Arm Worth? Depends On Where You Work” published ProPublica studies showed that what state you work in can dramatically affect how much you are paid for the loss of use of an affected body part. See: http://www.propublica.org/article/how-much-is-your-arm-worth-depends-where-you-work
The article by ProPubica focused on two states, Georgia and Alabama citing that Georgia is far more generous when it comes to payment of benefits when an injured worker has suffered a catastrophic injury. Studies and investigations performed by ProPublica and NPR have found that states have slashed workers’ compensation benefits in response to Employers and Insurers demands for lower costs and in fact Employers are paying the lowest rates for comp insurance since the 1970s. A report by OSHA has also found that these changes have forced injured workers to rely on family members and taxpayers to subsidize their lost income and medial care.
When an injured workers has been deemed to by a medical provider to be able to work in some capacity but has also suffered an injury that will affect them for the rest of their life they are entitled to benefits known as permanent partial disability. These benefits are meant to provide an injured workers’ compensation employee for the loss of function of the affected body part as well as the loss of future income. Nearly every state in the US has a chart that is used to divide up the body and create a “schedule of benefits” where injured workers are awarded a portion of their income based on a specific number of weeks assigned to each body part.
A broad overview of what that an injured worker can receive for damage to their body and future lost wages depending on the area of the body affected based on the maximum benefits allowed can be found at: http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-benefits-by-limb
While Georgia rates below the national average for 9 of the 12 body parts covered in the schedule they have created the “catastrophic” designation for injuries that meet a certain criteria to insure that workers are not left without any type of income. See: https://www.theworkerscompensationlawyer.com/?page_id=40
In the ever changing world of workers’ compensation, it can be confusing to know what benefits you are entitled to receive. Contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera and let us help you understand the law and get you the results that you deserve.