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Gunshot Victims in Arizona

If someone has been injured from a gunshot wound, they may be entitled to getting disability benefits. Gunshot wounds can result in severe physical or psychological damage, which entitles the victim to a successful Social Security disability claim. However, to be able to qualify for Social Security disability, you need to have all the medical evidence well documented.

Victims who experience minor injuries after a gunshot wound may be able to recover substantially and return to work within a few weeks or months. However, victims who experience severe symptoms may continue to experience issues months after the accident. Symptoms after a gunshot wound that last more than 12 months are eligible for disability benefits.

Gunshot wounds can cause a wide variety of symptoms which can last a long time, just as in the case of any other traumatic injury like a car accident. Even if the injury is not severe, it will still cause damage to the skin and muscles as well as the tendons and ligaments. Soft-tissue injuries are easy to heal, however, the victim may face functional limitations that can affect the strength or flexibility of the victim. In some cases, the impairment may not become apparent until a few months or years after the initial injury.

Effects of Gunshot Wounds

Victims of gunshot wounds can experience life-altering injuries. In some cases, the injuries can be fatal. Some of the non-fatal injuries as a result of a gunshot wound may involve damage to the spinal cord, which can cause paralysis or cognitive impairment. The victim may experience speech as well as memory problems. Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries, the victim may also suffer from anxiety-related disorders.

Providing Medical Evidence

Whether the injuries are mild or severe enough, the victim can be eligible for benefits. However, the victim has to be able to show that their physical and mental abilities prevent them from performing any jobs. This is called the RFC of the individual, also known as Residual Functional Capacity. The victim will have to provide all their medical treatment records to Social Security in order to assess their RFC correctly. These medical treatments have to be related to the gunshot wound, from urgent care records to ongoing treatments. All record of surgeries, physical examinations, x-rays, and MRI imaging reports fall under these medical treatment records.

Victims who experience mental health problems after the gunshot wound need to provide their mental health treatment records to Social Security. Some of the common mental health issues involve stress, depression, and anxiety.

Apart from the raw medical records, medical opinions from the treating providers can also make a huge difference in the disability case. After treatment, if the victim is facing any physical impairments, they or their attorney will have to request an RFC form from the doctor which addresses their ability to perform certain physical actions. These actions may include handling, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, sitting, standing, walking, climbing, stooping, crouching, crawling, balancing, and kneeling.

A mental RFC form from the psychiatrist or psychologist can greatly increase the chances of getting disability benefit if the victim has been receiving mental health treatment. The provider will have to provide their opinion on the victims capabilities with regards to their understanding, ability to remember, maintain attention, concentration levels, coordination, and their capability to interact with others.

The RFC form will also mention any other environmental restrictions that the victim may be suffering from, such as if they have a problem with loud noises that affects their ability to work. Moreover, the mental and physical health providers have to address the fact if the victim would be off-task at work for more than 20% of the time due to symptoms like pain, or fatigue, which may affect their ability to work. Any other limitations may also be mentioned that prevent the victim from gaining good employment.

Contact An Attorney

If you are receiving treatment for your gunshot wounds, it is important to get help from an experienced attorney who can get you the disability benefits you are entitled to. The attorney will help you file for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). He or she will also ensure that you get future retirement benefits. Call the Arizona Victims Attorneys at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law at (602) 535-1900 for an initial consultation.


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