According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were roughly 2.6 million workplace injuries in 2022. When an injury at work changes your life permanently, it is more than a temporary inconvenience. It is a life-altering event that can lead to significant physical, emotional and financial stress.
In South Dakota, if your injury is severe enough to prevent you from working entirely, you may be eligible to file a Permanent Total Disability claim under workers’ compensation. There are many injuries that can make you eligible for PTD, and it is helpful to know what some of them are.
Severe physical injuries
The most obvious cases of PTD claims arise from severe physical injuries. These are injuries that lead to a complete loss of function in certain parts of the body. Examples of such injuries include the loss of both legs, both arms or both eyes. Injuries that result in complete paralysis also fall under this category.
Traumatic brain injuries
Injuries to the brain can also make you eligible for a PTD claim. Traumatic brain injuries often result from falls, vehicle accidents or getting struck by objects – all incidents that can occur in a work environment. These injuries can lead to long-term complications such as cognitive impairment, speech and language difficulties and emotional issues, which can make it impossible for you to continue working.
South Dakota workers’ compensation law also recognizes psychological injuries. However, these cases tend to be more complex and can be harder to prove. If a work-related event leads to severe psychological trauma that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to file a PTD claim. Conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression and anxiety disorders that stem from work-related incidents can potentially qualify.
If you believe you have a qualifying injury, you should familiarize yourself with South Dakota’s workers’ compensation laws to help make the process easier to navigate. It is about securing the financial support you need to navigate your new circumstances and maintain your quality of life.