Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
In general, a schedule loss of use is an award for the permanent loss of use of an extremity or digit due to a work injury. The process to accurately determine a schedule loss of use can be difficult and time consuming with many factors to consider. The process usually begins when your doctors determines that no more treatment is warranted and as early as nine months after your accident. Here is a brief background into the schedule loss process, for more information on your case, please call a trusted attorney.
Each extremity or digit has a specific value in terms of number of weeks set out by the Workers’ Compensation Law. For example, a 100% loss of use of an arm is equal to 312 weeks of compensation under the law. Your loss of use is based upon an examination by your doctor, who will apply his/her exam findings to the Guidelines set out by the Workers’ Compensation Board and will calculate a percentage of loss of use. Traditionally, the more severe the injury, the higher the loss of use. The insurance carrier will likely have the same examination performed by their consultant. Typically, following both side having their doctor’s offer opinions on loss of use, your attorney will either negotiate between the doctor’s findings or need to litigate and question the doctors preparing for a Law Judge to decide between the doctor’s findings.
The percentage is calculated by multiplying the doctors finding by the overall value set out by the law. For example, a 10% loss of use of the Arm would be equal to 31.2 weeks of compensation (10% of the overall value of 312 weeks). The number of weeks is then multiplied by your total rate (based on your average weekly wage) to come up with the overall value. You may be entitled to additional weeks if you were totally disabled for an extended period of time which may vary depending on the injured body part. It is important to keep in mind the carrier will get credit for all prior payments made to you during your case. Also, if your employer made payments to you for lost time after your injury, they will be reimbursed for those payments as well (you may be entitled to your time back if used). Also, the Law Judge will approve an attorney’s fee that will be deducted.
If you have been injured and believe you may be entitled to an award for the permanent injury to an extremity or digit, please call a New York workers comp lawyer today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC for their insight into workers’ compensation claims and employer issues.