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Colorado Injury Firm

Weld County Assessment of Impairment Ratings

Severe workplace injuries can require extensive medical treatment and lengthy periods of physical therapy. Even after that treatment, some injuries will never heal entirely. It is common for an employee to lose some function in an organ or body part following a severe injury.

A doctor rates each injury on its permanency. The more permanent an injury, the more benefits are available to you. For that reason, the insurance company and their lawyers often challenge the assessment of impairment. A skilled worker’s compensation lawyer could answer your questions regarding a Weld County assessment of impairment ratings.

What is an Impairment Rating?

Every injury subject to a Weld County worker’s compensation claim receives an impairment rating. This rating comes in the form of a percentage, which identifies the portion of the injury that would never fully heal.

Many workplace injuries receive a permanency rating of zero. A score of zero on a Weld County impairment assessment indicates an expected full recovery. An impairment rating will only score above zero if the doctor believes at least some of the functionality lost will never return. When the functionality of a body part is fully impaired forever, the injury would receive an assessment of 100.

The impairment of some injuries will not lead to conflict. For example, there is little argument that the amputation of a body party results in a complete, permanent loss of functionality. However, most injuries are not so straight-forward. In many cases, both sides in a Weld County worker’s compensation claim would rely on their own expert opinions.

Rating from the Treating Physician

The process of a Weld County assessment of impairment rating begins with the doctor treating the injury. During the normal course of treatment, an injury victim’s doctor would review and assess the workplace injury. They could carefully note the rate of recovery as well as any lingering disability. At the end of treatment, the doctor may make a permanency evaluation. If the employer’s insurance company does not dispute their evaluation, it can result in a settlement between the parties.

Unfortunately, the insurance company rarely takes the word of an injury victim’s personal physician. The insurance company will have the opportunity for their own doctor to perform an exam. It is commonplace for their doctor to rate the potential for recovery much higher than an injury victim’s physician.

Division Independent Medical Exams

If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the impairment rating, state law requires they take additional steps before the courts agree to resolve the issue. Following a dispute over an impairment rating, the parties must agree to a Division Independent Medical Examination.

The purpose of this independent evaluation is to reduce litigation by providing an unbiased rating to both parties before a lawsuit. The parties have the opportunity to agree on a doctor to perform the examination. However, if they cannot agree, the Division may select a doctor to perform the examination.

Hire a Professional Legal Advocate Today

Varying assessments of impairment can happen. In fact, it is common for the two sides in a worker’s compensation claim to have wildly different views on the permanency of an injury. A seasoned worker’s compensation lawyer could have the experience necessary to secure a fair impairment rating. Call today for guidance in a Weld County assessment of impairment ratings.

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