Workers’ compensation insurance carriers often ignore important parts of a workers’ disability. Do you want your disability fully and accurately evaluated? Then, all your limitations and restrictions must be considered.
In my practice, I frequently cross-examine vocational experts at trial. These witnesses are the experts who testify concerning the extent of your disability. Yet, the experts hired by the insurance company will frequently ignore important limitations from an injury. In their testimony, these insurance company experts will usually discuss the impact of typical problems from your injury such as lifting restrictions. At the same time, they will often ignore other issues that have a great impact on your ability to return to work.
A recent article on the impact of hearing loss to employees highlights this issue. As I read this article, I began thinking about a case I tried a few years ago in Huntsville where the worker was injured in an explosion. As a result of his injury, that worker suffered back problems which limited his lifting. However, he also suffered profound hearing loss. That hearing loss disabled him from returning to any of his past work. Similarly, I recently tried a case where a worker fell several feet, injuring both his back and head. Again, the back injury was significant and limited him from some work. However, due to his head trauma, he suffered permanent dizziness. The insurance company would not consider the impact of the head trauma. So, we went to trial and got him the proper amount of disability benefits.
What are some of the frequent problems that can result in significant disability but are often ignored by the workers’ compensation adjusters? They include hearing loss, balance problems, vertigo, gait problems, inability to sit or stand for long periods of time, memory or other cognitive problems from head trauma, and numbness or loss of sensation in body parts such as the leg or arm.
These problems can be significant. Their impact on your ability to return to work can be huge. The workers’ compensation carriers will almost never fully consider them. Because these problems are complex, you need to seek an attorney who understands medical issues, has significant experience with Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act, and is willing to go to trial to get what is fair and just for your true disability.by Jeff Blackwell