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Thousands of Arizona employees sustain injuries every year. Unfortunately, some of those individuals end up with disabling injuries. When a person is permanently disabled due to a workplace incident, they are typically entitled to workers’ compensation disability benefits. Here, we want to review what it means to have a permanent disability related to a work injury claim, as well as the types of compensation work injury victims can receive in these situations.

What is Considered Permanent Disability in a Workers’ Comp Claim

What the State of Arizona Considers Permanent Impairment

Examining information available from the Industrial Commission of Arizona, we can see that there are two kinds of permanent impairments related to workplace injuries: scheduled impairment and unscheduled impairment.

Scheduled injury

Scheduled injuries occur to a specific body part already classified under Arizona workers’ compensation laws (in the “schedule” of injuries). Being scheduled simply means that these are the most likely types of workplace injuries or illnesses that occur, so there is a system in place for handling these types of impairments in a more streamlined way.

Scheduled injuries involve the feet, legs, hands, arms, and eyes. In the event an individual sustains A partial loss of a body part or a permanent disability to those body parts, they may be able to receive permanent monthly compensation.

If a worker sustains an amputated limb or is no longer able to use a body part, they will typically receive 55% of their average monthly wage. However, if a doctor determines that the injured individual can no longer return to a normal job as a result of the injury, they may be able to receive up to 75% of their monthly wage. Those who sustain permanent facial scarring or tooth loss are eligible to receive up to 55% of their monthly wage for 18 months after the incident occurs.

Unscheduled injury

An unscheduled event usually happens as a result of general impairment, often a combination of impairments to various body parts harmed in one incident. In these situations, the Industrial Commission of Arizona will determine the amount of compensation the injured worker should receive based on their lost earning capacity.

Injuries to other parts of the body, including the back, shoulder, hips, and occupational diseases, fall under the unscheduled permanent injury category. In these situations, the state will determine if an employee should receive compensation for the injury or combination of injuries and how much they should receive. Factors that can affect total compensation amounts include the likelihood that the employee is able to return to employment and the amount of wages they will be able to earn once they return.

Do You Need an Attorney for Help?

We encourage any person who has sustained a severe or permanent injury in the workplace to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. A Phoenix workers’ comp attorney can review the facts and evidence of your case and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. This includes examining a workers’ compensation claim but also leaving open the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against an alleged negligent third party or grossly negligent employer.