If you’ve been injured on the job, there is a chance that you may remain permanently damaged. It’s possible that you can be left with permanent work restrictions, permanent scarring, disfigurement, etc. Part of your workers’ compensation settlement will be payment for your permanent disability.
How to Determine the Permanent Disability Rating
The permanent disability rating is determined when your doctor finds that you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement. At that point in time, the doctor will do a final exam. After examining your medical records, a clinical exam will take place that will test your range of motion, muscle weakness, and the like.
The doctor will determine your permanent disability percentage by using the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides 5th Edition.
Our office makes sure that the doctor giving you the permanent disability rating follows the Guides correctly, as it is fairly common for doctors to interpret the Guides incorrectly.
How Much is My Permanent Disability Worth?
There is a permanent disability chart that converts permanent disability to monetary values, wherein each percentage of disability has a different assigned monetary value. This value also depends on how much income you earned per week, as well as the year during which you were injured. If the dates of injury took place in 2014 – 2016, your permanent disability value is worth more than if you were injured in 2013.
For example, if you were given a 5% permanent disability and you were injured in 2014, your permanent disability rating is worth up to $4,350.00. If you have a permanent disability value of 5% and you were injured in 2013, your permanent disability value would be worth up to $3,450.00.
What Factors Can Make My Permanent Disability Higher?
Once your permanent disability rating is calculated, it is adjusted to consider different factors.
The first factor to consider is your age at the time of your injury. The older you were in age when you got injured, the higher your permanent disability percentage would be.
The second factor is your occupation at the time of injury. Each occupation has a different occupational variant. The more physical your job is, the larger the occupational variant.
Lastly, we consider diminished functional earning capacity depending on which body part was injured. For example, if you have an injury to your spine, your disability percentage would increase more than if you injured your hand.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Receive Permanent Disability Money?
As you can see, there are many steps to determine how much the permanent disability factor of your case is worth. First, you have to make sure the doctor gave you the correct rating, then you have to adjust the rating depending on the three factors. Lastly, you have to correctly convert the permanent disability rating to a dollar value.
The permanent disability portion of your case is very important. Our office can assist if you have any questions regarding how permanent disability works.