It’s one of those things you don’t even want to think about, but you have to face facts too – it happens – what happens if you can’t go back to work?
There are really two different kinds of “not being able to go back to work” – one is that you can’t go back to driving a truck (and we will look at that in a few weeks), but the other is being completely unable to work at all, and that is what we are talking about this week.
You would think that being totally unable to work is one of those things that is so obvious, but is an issue that is almost always hotly contested.
There are two ways that someone could be totally disabled –
1. Totally physically incapable of any form of gainful employment. And you would be surprised how often this is contested, but they always bring up people who are blind or in wheelchairs or have some terrible physical affliction who have high level jobs.
2. The “odd lot” category. What this means is that taking the injured worker and his background and aptitude for various forms of work, is there any reasonably stable labor market in which he could find gainful employment? If the answer is no, the injured worker is considered permanently and totally disabled even if he finds periodic work.
What does this mean for an employer? It means that they have to pay the injured worker 60% of his Average Weekly Wage for the rest of his life. Frequently, this is reduced to a single lump sum payment, but will often be several hundred thousand dollars.
The key thing to know is that the issue of being permanently totally disabled from working is something that will often be contested – because it costs the insurance company a lot of money. Because there is a lot money at stake, it is worth getting well-qualified legal help.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling our office at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.