If you sustained a work-related injury, your first concern is getting medical treatment. Upon reaching your maximum medical improvement (MMI), the treating physician will then use the rating guidelines to determine the percentage of your impairment.
For a free consultation about what your permanent impairment rating is worth, call Eley Law Firm today at 303-785-2828. Our goal in every case is to help our client obtain all of the workers’ compensation benefits he or she deserves.
We Help You Understand Permanent Disability Ratings And Your Rights
There are two types of disability ratings: extremity and whole person. Determining whether a particular injury is subject to an extremity or whole person rating frequently requires litigation. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through this process and help you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Extremity Ratings Determine The Damage To Arms And Legs
Injuries to the arms, legs, hands and feet are given extremity ratings. These ratings are designed to provide benefits, governed by statute, for injuries deemed by the Colorado Legislature to be less serious than whole person ratings. But these injuries can be just as disabling as an injury to the head, neck or back. Benefits for extremity injuries factor in how severe a person’s injury is, but ignore a person’s age and wage rate. In some cases, these extremity injuries can be converted to a whole person rating which allows for more permanent disability benefits.
Whole Person Ratings Apply To The Effect Of Injury On The Entire Body
Whole person ratings are given to workers who have sustained injuries to the head, neck, back or torso. (Please see types of workplace injuries.)
Benefits for whole person impairment are paid based on a formula outlined in the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. This formula takes into account the worker’s wage rate and age. In general, the younger a worker is and the higher the worker’s wage, the more the permanent impairment is worth.
We Handle Disputes About Maximum Medical Improvement And Disability Ratings
An injured worker, employer or insurance carrier who disagrees with the date of MMI or with the disability rating can request a Division Independent Medical Examination (DIME) or a second opinion from another doctor.
The opinions of the DIME doctor on the issues of permanent impairment and MMI are binding on the parties unless overturned at a subsequent hearing by “clear and convincing evidence.” Since overturning a DIME doctor is difficult, great care should be taken in selecting the initial doctor. Never agree with the adjuster on a DIME doctor without consulting an attorney. The adjuster knows these doctors and you probably don’t. The Eley Law Firm can provide valuable help in the selection of your DIME physician.
The procedures for obtaining and disputing a DIME are complex and change frequently. For advice on how to obtain a DIME or general information on disability ratings, contact a Colorado workers’ compensation injury attorney at the Eley Law Firm in Denver. Call for a free case evaluation. You may also fill out the email form on the Contact page, and a representative from the office will be in touch with you shortly.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping with your workers’ comp case.