Workers’ Compensation – Temporary Disability (2016)
Professional drivers face significant health and safety risks. Common causes of injury and disability for divers include vehicle collisions and accidents related to trailers, lift gates and other moving parts. Loading and unloading trucks can cause significant neck, back and upper extremity disorders.
Our client injured her back while at work as a driver. A Workers’ Compensation Law Judge found that she had a 75% disability during her period of temporary disability, and a permanent 80% “loss of wage earning capacity.” On the insurance company’s appeal, the Workers’ Compensation Board found that she had a 40% loss of wage earning capacity – and reduced her compensation benefits to the 40% disability rate not only for the period of permanent disability, but also for the period of temporary disability.
We appealed the Board’s decision, arguing that the Board incorrectly applied the permanent disability standard to the period of temporary disability. The Appellate Division, Third Department, agreed, reversing that part of the Board’s decision and returning the case for further consideration.