Home / Blog / What Are the Different Levels of Disability?

If you suffer a personal injury that leaves you disabled and unable to work, you may be able to file a disability claim for compensation. There are four different types of disability acknowledged in Indiana based on the severity of your injuries.

The type of disability will affect how much compensation you are eligible for. An experienced Indiana catastrophic injury lawyer can help ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to, so you can rebuild your life after a disabling injury.

Read on to learn about the four levels of disability and find out what type of compensation you may be eligible for when you file an injury claim.

Temporary Disability

Temporary disability applies when your personal injury causes a disability expected to improve or disappear over time. There are two types of temporary disability: partial and total.

1.    Temporary partial

Temporary partial disability occurs when your injuries leave you temporarily unable to complete part of your typical work duties. This can result in your employer paying you less because you cannot do the same amount or type of work you usually would in the scheduled hours. You can demand compensation to make up the wage difference between before and after your injury.

2.    Temporary total

Temporary total disability refers to a personal injury that leaves you temporarily unable to do any work at all. In this case, your injury diagnosis suggests you will improve over time, but you cannot perform any of your usual employment duties for a temporary period. You will need compensation to cover your lost wages until you are able to return to work.

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability applies when you have a long-term disability (LTD). In this case, the disability caused by your personal injury is either partial or total and will continue to affect you for the rest of your life.

If you have a permanent disability, you can receive long-term disability benefits from the state and possibly lifetime benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

3.    Partial permanent

A partial permanent disability occurs when you lose part of your ability to work, but the loss is permanent. This type of injury severely limits what you can do on the job, hindering your ability to earn full-time wages. You may be able to work, but not the same type of work as before, or for a reduced number of hours each week. 

4.    Permanent total

Total permanent disability is when you suffer a disability that renders you incapable of working for the remainder of your life. Permanent total injuries include spinal cord, traumatic brain injuries, and other instances where your functioning is permanently and catastrophically damaged.

This is the most severe type of disability, and obtaining benefits is essential to providing for yourself and your family.

Compensation for Disabling Injuries in Indiana

If you suffer a disabling injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation. You are eligible for both economic and non-economic damages, and potentially punitive damages as well.

Economic damages

Economic damages refer to compensation awarded for calculable expenses related to your injury. Medical bills (including medication and physical therapy), lost wages, and attendant care expenses are all part of economic damages.

When you suffer a permanent disabling injury, you can also ask for compensation for your loss of future earning capacity (including bonuses, raises, and any other benefits), the cost of vocational training, and even the cost of refitting your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability. Permanent disabilities can be extremely expensive, and an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can help you calculate how much compensation you may need over the course of your lifetime.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages, also called “pain and suffering,” refer to non-quantifiable consequences that occur due to your injury. These include physical pain, emotional and mental distress, loss of enjoyment and quality of life, loss of consortium, and others. A disabling injury can cause intense upheaval to victims’ lives, and damage their relationships with others, their mental well-being, and alter their ability to enjoy hobbies or even perform basic tasks of daily life. Victims of disabling injuries also deserve compensation for these losses.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are compensation awarded as punishment for the negligent party responsible for your injuries. Punitive damages are difficult to win. In Indiana, they are capped at $50,000, or three times the compensatory damage award, whichever amount is greater.

There are no caps on economic or non-economic damages in Indiana; however, the state uses modified comparative fault to determine award amounts. Under this doctrine, a percentage of fault is assigned to each party in the personal injury suit. Your fault percentage will be deducted from the total damage award.

For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but are found to be 10% responsible for your injury, you will only receive $90,000 in total damages. However, if you are more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you will not be awarded any compensation. Our experienced injury lawyers can help prove that you were not responsible for your own injury and fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.

If you are disabled in a personal injury accident caused by another’s negligence, speak with our team of Indiana catastrophic injury lawyers as soon as possible. We can review the circumstances of your case and help you pursue compensation for your disability injuries.

The personal injury lawyers at Wagner Reese are experienced in dealing with catastrophic personal injury claims. We can help you seek a fair settlement for your disability injury, whether it’s partial or total, and temporary or permanent.

Speak With a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today

If you suffer a catastrophic personal injury resulting in a temporary or permanent disability, it is important to seek compensation to ensure continued financial support. A catastrophic injury lawyer from Wagner Reese can help you file a personal injury claim to receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact our legal team to schedule your free consultation.