The road to recovery after a work injury can be difficult. For many injured workers, weeks, months, or even years of medical treatment, demanding physical therapy, and painful medical procedures do not lead to a full recovery. When a doctor determines that additional medical treatment will not produce a noticeable positive benefit to an injured worker, the doctor may declare the injured worker permanent and stationary and issue a P&S Report. In the report, the doctor assigns the injured worker a preliminary impairment rating indicating the worker’s level of disability for any injured body part. The rating will be from 0 to 100 percent.
The preliminary impairment rating goes through several adjustments before a final rating is determined. First, the individual body part ratings are converted into a ‘whole person impairment rating’. This is done through a specific mathematical formula and would also be listed in the P&S Report. Once the whole person impairment rating is calculated, another formula is used to determine a permanent disability rating. The permanent disability rating formula takes into consideration future earning capacity, occupation, and age. The full formula and how it is calculated can be found here.
With its usage of specified formulas and guidelines, challenging a permanent disability rating is difficult, but not impossible. Injured workers who have suffered permanent disability can object to certain aspects of their evaluation. If you think that your doctor did not properly assess your injuries, you can request a second opinion from a different doctor. Should the second opinion determine that your disability level is more severe, your preliminary impairment rating would be higher, leading to a higher permanent disability rating. If you think that the insurance company mislabeled your occupation or has made a factual error regarding your age, you can challenge those errors.
Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you determine if your permanent injuries are being assessed properly, as well as every other confusing step of the workers’ comp process. The Law Office of Scott Warmuth provides injured workers guidance to help improve their physical and financial outlook after a work injury. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.