Attorneys Karen Vincent and Greg Lois discuss the role of defense counsel in providing timely and accurate exposure analysis to clients. The attorneys discuss the “when” of providing an exposure analysis – when during the litigation lifecycle the attorney should be providing estimates of exposure and likelihood of prevailing at trial. The attorneys also discuss the “how” of exposure – how estimates of permanent disability are made. This webinar presentation is a must-watch for risk professionals and adjusters relying on outside counsel to provide exposure analysis.
Under New York Workers’ Compensation law, a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) award may be made when a claimant has reached maximum medical improvement and the claimant’s body part(s) have a permanent loss of use as a result of their work-related injury.
There are two types of permanent disability benefits (Schedule Loss of Use and Non-Schedule/Classification); the type of benefit a claimant is eligible for depends on the body part injured. The concept of a “protracted healing period” only comes into play for “schedule loss of use” awards and serves to increase the value of the award.
A SLU occurs when an employee has permanently lost use of an upper extremity (shoulder, arm, hand, wrist, finger), lower extremity (hip, leg, knee, ankle, foot, toe), or eyesight or hearing. Compensation is limited to a certain number of weeks based on the body part and severity of the disability, according to a schedule set by law. Temporary benefits that have been paid are deducted from the total SLU award. [Source]
When Does A “Protracted Healing Period” Apply?
New York defines the “normal healing period” for scheduled injuries. In cases where the claimant remained totally disabled for a period of time in excess of the established healing period, additional compensation payments are required.
The Law provides as follows at Section 15(4-a):
In case of temporary total disability and permanent partial disability both resulting from the same injury, if the temporary total disability continues for a longer period than the number of weeks set forth in the following schedule, the period of temporary total disability in excess of such number of weeks shall be added to the compensation period provided in subdivision three of this section: Arm, thirty-two weeks; leg, forty weeks; hand, thirty-two weeks; foot, thirty-two weeks; ear, twenty-five weeks; eye, twenty weeks; thumb, twenty-four weeks; first finger, eighteen weeks; great toe, twelve weeks; second finger, twelve weeks; third finger, eight weeks; fourth finger, eight weeks; toe other than great toe, eight weeks.
So, where the claimant remained totally disabled after the periods of time set forth by the Legislature, the employer/carrier is exposed for additional comepnsation under the Law. Continue reading “Protracted Healing Period” and Schedule Loss of Use