There are certain injuries that may be to one part of the body, but those injuries affect the whole person's ability to work.
A spine injury or lung injury, for example, could be a permanent injury that affects all of a worker's physical capabilities for work. A brain injury could be a permanent impairment that prevents the worker from returning to work even when all other parts of the body are functioning appropriately.
Some Injuries Qualify For A Whole Person Rating
Whole person ratings acknowledge that an injury to one part of the body affects the entire body. Schedule ratings — or extremity ratings — are used when one part of the body is injured but the injury does not affect the entire body. The flaw in this is that even an extremity injury can severely affect your ability to work.
The rating a doctor gives you for a whole person impairment is determined by the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Third Edition (Revised).
The whole person rating goes into a formula which determines how much you are paid in permanent disability benefits. Make sure you receive a fair evaluation before you agree to the impairment rating. Attorney Cliff Eley, with more than 30 years of experience, can explain and protect your rights.
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A whole person rating can vary from one doctor to another. Because the rating can affect your compensation, talk to an attorney before accepting the rating you received. Call or email the Eley Law Firm in Denver if you have questions about workers' compensation impairment ratings or any other issue in Colorado workers' compensation law. The consultation is free.