Workers Compensation. What if I Can’t Go Back to Work?

Carolina: Kind of a segment from the question: “what benefits are you entitled to?” is the question of

what happens if I can’t go back to work?

And the reason this is an offshoot of that question…is that what this means… is that you might be entitled to a different kind of compensation. When we settle Worker’s Compensation case, most commonly we deal with the permanent partial disability question which is to what degree of changes occur in your body and what compensation is that entitled to?

However if you can’t go back to work, then we talk about a different kind of compensation generally known as a wage differential compensation or possibly even what’s called an odd lock case which basically means that you might not be able to go back to that job or even any other job and when that happens, we start talking about how this injury has now affected the rest of your working life which might mean that you are entitled to significantly more compensation than just the degree of disability that has occurred to your body.

When we talk about wage differential cases for example, if you were previously at a job earning $20 an hour and now you have been injured to the extent that you cannot go back to the job, so maybe it was a particularly physical demanding job and now you have an injury that you can only go back to doing light or even medium duty work and your job cannot accommodate you.

So you go looking for another job and the only kind of job that you can find might be in customer service earning $10 an hour or $12 an hour, now we are looking at the differential in the wages that you can now earn versus the wages that you were earning and we get to look at that until you are 67 years old or if you are within five years of 67, the next five years.

So again that can have a substantially higher value than a permanent partial disability case. And it is really important that you discuss the matter with an attorney so that you understand what you’re entitled to because once the insurance company starts throwing out money, you might be thrilled with the idea of getting $10-$15-$20,000 but your case might be worth substantially more than that if you are not able to go back to work so it’s important that you speak with an attorney to really understand the value of your case and what happens when you cannot return to work.

So thank you for watching this.  Again, my name is Carolina Schottland with Zanck, Coen, Wright and Saladin and if you would like to contact me directly, the office phone number is 815-459-8800. Also feel free to email me. I am excellent by email and hope to respond to all questions within a timely manner. So my email address is [email protected].

I have been an attorney for over 12 years and really enjoy practicing workers compensation law and really look forward to helping out with your case.