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Permanent Partial Disability

Definition - What does Permanent Partial Disability mean?

A permanent partial disability is an injury which leaves an individual disabled but not to the extent that they can no longer work. Personal injuries, medical malpractice injuries, and workers' compensation injuries can all result in minor or severe permanent partial disabilities.

If you have a permanent partial disability following a medical procedure which was caused by a medical professional's negligence or you have suffered an injury from any other person's negligence, you may have the right to compensation for your injury.

Compensation for a permanent partial disability can include payment for past lost wages as well as additional wage loss compensation if you are not able to return to your previous job. Other compensation for a permanent partial disability can include payment for medical expenses and pain and suffering.

How much is your permanent partial disability worth?

Determining compensation for a permanent partial disability generally involves waiting until the patient has reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI). After the patient's MMI is reached, a doctor can determine the level of impairment for the employee. Impairment ratings are assessed by a treating physician and may be derived from the American Medical Association Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairments.

If the individual was injured at work and it is a workers' compensation claim state law may determine the amount paid for specific injuries. Other states may determine compensation based on the loss of earning capacity; others calculate the actual loss of wages by the employees.

For other personal injury claims the insurance company will generally make a settlement offer after they have evaluated the patient's impairment rating as well as their age, medical care, activity level, and their physical health prior to the accident.

If you are unsure how much compensation you should receive following your injury talk to a lawyer about the types of benefits offered to other claimants who have suffered similar permanent partial disabilities. An injury lawyer should be able to tell you how much compensation you may expect for your personal injury claim.

Common permanent partial disabilities

Permanent partial disabilities can include lost limbs, fingers, or toes. They also can include injuries which limit the claimant's ability to walk, sit, stand, push or pull, thus reducing their work capacity. Other types of disfigurements can include burns or scarring.

For example, if you went into surgery and the doctor amputated the wrong hand, you may be able to perform certain types of work, but the doctor may have to compensate you for your permanent partial disability if you are unable to return to the same level of employment you had prior to the injury.

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