Workers Compensation and Permanent Injuries

Workers CompensationCommon physical hazards among motel workers include injuries from cleaning chemicals to lifting of objects and musculoskeletal injuries, to slips and falls and repetitive motion injuries. Should any of these conditions result in permanent disability, or particularly permanent partial disability, different methods are used by the states to provide benefits to injured workers for permanent partial disabilities under their motel workers’ compensation programs.

Injuries resulting in permanent impairments

When an injury occurs that results in a permanent impairment, certain body parts are compensated in a consistent way. Approximately 43 jurisdictions use a schedule for a list of body parts that are covered. Typically, a schedule appears in the underlying statute and lists benefits to be paid for specific losses (for example, the loss of a finger).

These losses invariably include the upper and lower extremities and may also include an eye. Most state schedules also include the loss of hearing in one or both ears.

Injuries to the spine that are permanently disabling are typically not scheduled, nor are injuries to internal organs, head injuries, and occupational diseases. For unscheduled conditions, the approaches used can be categorized into four methods:

Impairment-Based Approach: About 19 states use this approach to compensate for an unscheduled permanent partial disability. In approximately 14 of those states, the worker with an unscheduled permanent partial disability receives a benefit based entirely on the degree of impairment. Any future earnings losses of the worker are not considered.
Loss-of-Earning-Capacity Approach: Roughly 13 states use this approach to determine the permanent partial disability benefit for an unscheduled impairment. This approach links the benefit to the worker’s ability to earn or to compete in the labor market, that is, it involves a forecast of the economic impact that the impairment will have on the worker.
Wage-Loss Approach: In the 10 or so states that use this method, benefits are paid for the actual or ongoing losses that a worker incurs. In some states, the permanent partial disability benefit begins after it has been determined that maximum medical improvement has been achieved. In states that use this approach, permanent disability benefits can simply be the extension of temporary disability benefits until the disabled worker returns to employment.
Bifurcated Approach: In nine jurisdictions, the benefit for a permanent disability depends on the worker’s employment status at the time that the worker’s condition is assessed, after the condition has stabilized. If the worker has returned to employment with earnings at or near the pre-injury level, the benefit is based on the degree of impairment. If the worker has not returned to employment, or has returned but at lower wages than before the injury, the benefit is based on the degree of lost earning capacity.

Temporary total disability benefits cease when the worker has returned to employment at or near the pre-injury wage level. Those benefits can be terminated when the worker is found medically able to return to work. Alternatively, if the worker’s medical condition stabilizes and is unlikely to change, the temporary benefit will also end. 

State laws describe this stage as one in which the worker’s condition has reached:

1. Maximum medical improvement, or has become
2. Permanent and stationary

In addition, some jurisdictions set a ceiling on the amount of time for which these benefits need to be paid and, in a few cases, on the amount of the payment. When temporary benefits have ended, the worker may be entitled to receive benefits for permanent partial disability.

Seasonal Geometry

Dear Diary:

The other week I was in an elevator at the Y.M.C.A. on East Houston Street when I heard a question that I do think I’d only hear in New York City.

Hiply dressed older man to hiply dressed younger man:

“So, how was the parabola of your summer?”

I am still wondering about this.


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Kelly Says Shooting of Unarmed Man Warrants a Grand Jury Investigation

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that the moments leading up to last week’s fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens remained unclear, and warrant grand jury scrutiny.

“It will require what I believe to be a grand jury investigation to determine precisely what happened there,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters Monday just before joining the Columbus Day parade.

The Queens district attorney, Richard Brown, has already said that his office is investigating the shooting of Noel Polanco during an early morning traffic stop Thursday. It is routine procedure for prosecutors to bring fatal shootings by the police before a grand jury.

Detective Hassan Hamdy and eight other officers with the Tactical Apprehension Team were heading to Brooklyn to execute a warrant in two police trucks when Mr. Polanco twice cut them off while speeding and driving erratically, the police have said.

After pulling over Mr. Polanco, 22, at about 5:15 a.m., Detective Hamdy approached the passenger side of Mr. Polanco’s Honda and fired a single shot through an open window, striking Mr. Polanco in the abdomen.

Detective Hamdy’s lawyer, Philip E. Karasyk, said over the weekend that the detective believed Mr. Polanco was reaching for a gun. But a witness, Diane Deferrari, who was seated in the passenger’s seat, rebutted that account, saying the detective fired without giving Mr. Polanco a chance to comply with his orders to put his hands up and that when last she looked at Mr. Polanco, his hands were still on the steering wheel.

No weapon was found in the car. A small power screw drill was found on the floor of the driver’s side, police said.

“A grand jury examination is to be expected,” Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, the union that represents Detective Hamdy, said in a statement. “It’s a police shooting, of a high-profile nature, where someone was killed. Full disclosure of the facts and what led to the shooting will reveal that our detective’s actions were justified. Prospective grand jurors can anticipate our full cooperation in this matter.”


This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 9, 2012

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the unit that Detective Hassan Hamdy is assigned to. It is the Tactical Apprehension Team, not the Apprehension Tactical Team.

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Kelly Calls for Grand Jury Investigation in Shooting of Unarmed Man

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that the moments leading up to last week’s fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens remained unclear, and warrant grand jury scrutiny.

“It will require what I believe to be a grand jury investigation to determine precisely what happened there,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters Monday just before joining the Columbus Day parade.

The Queens district attorney, Richard Brown, has already said that his office is investigating the shooting of Noel Polanco during an early morning traffic stop last Thursday. It is routine procedure for prosecutors to bring fatal shootings by the police before a grand jury.

Detective Hassan Hamdy and eight other officers with the Apprehension Tactical Team were heading to Brooklyn to execute a warrant in two police trucks when Mr. Polanco twice cut them off while speeding and driving erratically, the police have said.

After pulling over Mr. Polanco, 22, at about 5:15 a.m., Detective Hamdy approached the passenger side of Mr. Polanco’s Honda and fired a single shot through an open window, striking Mr. Polanco in the abdomen.

Detective Hamdy’s lawyer, Philip E. Karasyk, said over the weekend that the detective believed Mr. Polanco was reaching for a gun. But a witness, Diane Deferrari, who was seated in the passenger’s seat, rebutted that account, saying the detective fired without giving Mr. Polanco a chance to comply with his orders to put his hands up and that when last she looked at Mr. Polanco, his hands were still on the steering wheel.

No weapon was found in the car. A small power screw drill was found on the floor of the driver’s side, police said.

“A grand jury examination is to be expected,” Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, the union that represents Detective Hamdy, said in a statement. “It’s a police shooting, of a high-profile nature, where someone was killed. Full disclosure of the facts and what led to the shooting will reveal that our detective’s actions were justified. Prospective grand jurors can anticipate our full cooperation in this matter.”

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