Workers' compensation law is incredibly complex, in no small part because similar injuries can have different consequences for different individuals. What leaves one person permanently disabled because of their profession or other factors may not prevent someone else from continuing their career. Instead of paying the same benefits regardless of the situation, New Jersey's workers' compensation program prefers to analyze each case on an individual basis.
The type of injury, its location and the way the injury impacts a worker will all factor into what benefits that worker will receive. Most people are somewhat familiar with the idea of permanent, total disability benefits. These benefits follow an injury that precludes someone from fulfilling the obligations of their job for the rest of their life.
In many cases, these injuries are so serious that they hamper people's ability to perform self care and keep them from any other career pursuits in the future. However, it is possible for an injury to have permanent consequences that do not leave someone totally disabled. Individuals with injuries or symptoms that persist after treatment may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits.
What is permanent partial disability?
The most simple definition for permanent partial disability is an injury that will last your lifetime that does not leave you totally incapable of working or caring for yourself. These injuries could range from soft tissue issues that reduce your range of motion and strength to the loss of a limb.
Unlike total permanent disability, partial permanent disability pays a smaller amount to workers. This is due to the fact that the workers may still be able to perform some kind of work, even if it does not offer the same rate of pay as the previous job.
The amount of compensation will vary depending on the severity of the injury and the average income of the worker prior to the injury. The amount of compensation awarded will likely reflect if the worker is able to perform certain job tasks or care for themselves at home.
Proving permanent partial disability can be difficult
There are many complicating factors involved with any kind of disability or workers' compensation claim. Seeking permanent partial disability benefits may be one of the most confusing options, because there are no clear values for compensation readily available.
For that reason, as well as ensuring there is someone looking out for your rights, it is always advisable to work with an attorney who understands New Jersey law and workers' compensation.
An attorney will make it easier to understand your rights after an injury and can help you work for the compensation and workers' compensation disability benefits you need to survive in the wake of a permanent workplace injury.