Disability Claims: You are injured in an accident—be it a car accident, slip and fall, or some other type of accident—and pursue damages to cover your medical costs and lost income. You win your case, your life returns to normal, and all’s well that ends well… right? Well, not always. You could potentially suffer a permanent impairment as a result of your personal injury, having serious, long-term effects on your life.
What Is a Permanent Impairment, and What Can I Do about It?
Legally speaking, an impairment is an injury with a long-term effect on your ability to perform the tasks that you could before your injury. This injury could be physical, mental, or neurological in nature—all that matters is that the effects are lasting. If you are unable to work, pursue an education or career training, take care of yourself or any dependents you may have, or perform basic day-to-day tasks, then you are entitled to pursue legal action or file long-term disability claims.
In order to do this, you must prove that you have, in fact, suffered an impairment. Permanent impairment disability claims are rigorously investigated, so you’ll need to be thorough—this is where a lawyer can help. They will gather all the necessary material, including results of medical tests, financial statements, and witness testimonies to prove that you have suffered an impairment, that it has affected your ability to live as you once did, and that you are not expected to recover in the near future, if at all.
If you’re not sure yet whether or not your injuries have caused a permanent or long-term impairment, don’t worry—you have two years following the original incident to file. If in the months following your injury you discover that you may not fully recover, then it’s time to file.
Navigating Long-Term Disability Claims
If you have an insurance plan that includes long-term disability benefits, then you can also file a claim to receive said benefits. However, this can be tricky, since there are a lot of factors in play, and insurance companies are often loathe to pay any money they don’t have to. The best thing you can do to ensure successful disability claims is to be as thorough as humanly possible. Visit your doctor or a medical specialist and get documentation of the result of each visit, and make sure to follow your doctor’s orders—any decisions made against medical advice can harm your case. Submit your paperwork in a timely manner (or have it submitted on your behalf), and make sure all information is as accurate and honest as can be. If your disability claim is then denied, you can appeal the decision, or take legal action.