Q: Filed a workers comp from coworker negligence
Was hurt on may 31 2017 by coworkers negligence. Left work half day for first day but been on light duty with one arm. Going to have a scar on my elbow. Could I qualify for pain and suffering or some sort of settlemen. Dr released me to full duty but still have slight pain in arm. He said come back if it's still painful after my arm/elbow heals
A: You are entitled to medical treatment; not pain and suffering. The scar could possibly qualify for a minor award if it is permanent and significant. It is also possible that the employer's insurance carrier may offer a settlement to close out the claim and terminate any future benefits.
A: Follow up with the doctor as you don't know how it will be in a year, and don't want comp saying "you never went back, so your elbow couldn't be that bad." If you have any numbness in your fingers/hand especially. Note all symptoms to the doctor. In most states you only get scarring if it's facial. Members of the Va. Trial Lawyers Assn give free consults--find one that handles workers comp and get one.
A: If your doctor states in writing your work injury is at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and you have permanent loss of use of the upper extremity (arm) and/or permanent scarring, you can file with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Compensation. The doctor can do his own Permanent Impairment Rating or refer you to a physical therapy facility. You can get 2 weeks of compensation per percentage point of permanent loss of use of the arm. There is little compensation for a small surgical scar on an arm. There is no compensation for "pain and suffering" in Virginia Workers Compensation. However, you can settle your medical rights if you wish and the WC insurer agrees. It is best to contact an experienced Virginia work comp attorney.
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