Because of the nature and permanence of unscheduled injuries, lengthy and heated disputes are all too common. Insurance companies and employers don’t want to be responsible for extended workers’ compensation payments and will do their best to dismiss the magnitude of your injuries. When this happens, only a qualified attorney can protect you and your future interests.
The experienced attorneys at Nuñez & Associates know exactly how to deal with insurance companies and employers who are trying to avoid making payments that you absolutely need and completely deserve. We’ll assemble the most persuasive and professional team of attorneys, physicians and expert witnesses to establish the extent of your injuries and validity of your claim. Don’t delay. Give us a call today to discuss your claim and get started.
Unscheduled injuries law refer to those permanent injuries that are not subject to a set or scheduled amount in compensation. An unscheduled injury is one that does not refer to the eyes, feet, legs, hands and fingers or those injuries found in A.R.S. § 23-1044. These types of injuries refer to the shoulder, neck, back, head, hip or any combination of scheduled injuries, as well as occupational illnesses.
Compensation May be Lifetime
Unlike a scheduled injury where your compensation is terminated after a set period, unscheduled injuries can last for the lifetime of the injured worker. You receive a monthly payment based on an analysis of your loss of earning capacity, which presumes that you are no longer able to return to work or return to the wages you were receiving on the date of your injury. If you can return to work, then there is no disability payment for the unscheduled injury.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Payment for unscheduled injuries does not begin until the injury is stationary, or has reached its maximum improvement, and the worker has a loss of earning capacity (LEC). A LEC is the average monthly wage at the time of the injury compared to what the worker is now able to earn given the nature of the injury and disability, educational level, age and other factors. A vocational specialist may have to be retained to determine what occupations the worker is capable of performing and the average wage in the industry.
Should the worker be limited to earning a lower wage because of the injury, the individual is entitled to permanent partial disability compensation. This is a monthly benefit of 55% of the difference between the average monthly benefit and the wages the worker can earn with the disability or restrictions as determined by the worker’s physician.
For permanent disabilities in which the worker is unable to return to any type of work, the individual is entitled to permanent total disability compensation, which is roughly 2/3 of the workers’ average monthly wage.
Disputes in this area of workers’ compensation are not uncommon since they may involve competing medical reports or testimony from experts. Having a knowledgeable and highly experienced workers’ compensation attorney advocating for you is vital if you want to receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
"Josh Nunez — I highly recommend him to advocate for you, you will get the care you need! Thank you for restoring my dignity by your kindness, special care and attention to my case. My family and I are forever grateful to you, and to your entire team for all the help you have given […]"