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Workplace Injury – Permanent Disability

• Mar 18th, 2013

A workplace injury can result in some degree of permanent impairment. This means that for many of the victims who have had a workplace injury the consequences are life-long. Even though such injuries might not result in total disability for life, these injured persons may have to live with some degree of permanent impairment for the rest of their lives. For example, a person may have received a workplace injury on the job that even after surgeries and physical therapy, they still experience pain and mobility or range of motion issues which in fact never go away. As such, they become entitled to a benefit called Permanent Partial Disability under Georgia’s Worker’s Compensation law.


Work Place Injury Benefits

Georgia’s Worker’s Compensation ensures that such persons are entitled to benefits based on the type and degree of permanent disability as well as its extent. Loss of sight, loss of hearing as well as losing any part of the body such as an arm or an leg are forms of permanent disability. Additionally, persons who have lost the use of a part of their body are also entitled to monetary compensation from the employer/insurer for permanent disability.

The percentage of impairment an injured worker has sustained for a workplace injury is determined by the authorized treating physician.  In fact, the method for determining the amount of money someone is entitled to under Georgia’s Worker’s Compensation for a permanent disability is complex.  Simply put, the Authorized Treating Physician (ATP) determines the degree of impairment based on the injury and the residual impairment as determined by the American Medical Association (AMA)’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.


When Are You Entitled to Permanent Disability Benefits from a workplace injury

Once the percentage impairment is determined by the treating physician the injured worker would be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits, but only if he or she is no longer entitled to weekly income benefits.  The benefit owed is calculated by a formula that is outlined in the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Statute.   The formula multiplies the number of weeks according to Georgia’s law for a body part or the body as a whole by the percentage rating.  This determines the number of weeks of additional benefits the injured worker will be entitled to under the law.  It is important to note as well that not all injuries result in impairment ratings.  These PPD benefits are paid out on a weekly basis after your entitlement to weekly income benefits (TTD) has ceased.  An attorney can also negotiate payment of the PPD benefits in a lump sum or as part of a settlement.


Workplace Injury and Permanent Disability Are Extremely Complex

This is an extremely complex part of the law.  An injured worker should consult an attorney if he or she has had a workplace injury and has a workers’ compensation claim in order to ensure that all benefits that he or she is entitled to have been paid.  I have had many cases where the injured worker seeks my help and it is clear that he or she was not paid permanent partial disability when it was owed. The insurance company will not pay you all of the benefits you are owed unless you are aware of your entitlement to those benefits.  Seeking counsel is the best way to protect yourself!  I would be happy to advise you on your claim.  Contact Sunne Law or send me an email at


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