If you suffered injuries while working at your place of employment, you might feel overwhelmed with the amount of information and paperwork you must deal with as you attempt to receive compensation for those injuries and losses.
In many cases, you may have the legal right to file a workers’ compensation claim, which will have a basis on an impairment rating of your injuries related to your accident. This impairment rating can also become extremely useful if you need to pursue a claim against another company or entity. If your injuries were the direct result of someone else’s negligence or due to a manufacturing defect, you might have a case against a third party.
If you suffered injuries due to a workplace accident, consider how a Los Angeles impairment rating and disability lawyer can fight for compensation on your behalf. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 529-9122 today to speak with a team member and understand your legal rights.
Understanding Impairment Ratings
Impairment ratings relate to how severe the injuries are for a victim of a workplace injury. A doctor or medical professional will make this determination for the injured person under their care. In many cases, doctors will use several different guidelines, including the “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment,” published by the American Medical Association (AMA).
The guide that a doctor uses can directly affect the impairment rating given to a victim. The California Department of Industrial Relations bases its ratings on the Fifth Edition of the AMA Guide but makes adjustments for diminished future earning capacity, among other adjustments.
After a doctor thoroughly examines a victim, they will assign the impairment rating. For example, if a worker suffered an injury and a doctor determines that they have 30% impairment of their body, they will have 30% less use of their body than they did before the accident. As expected, the worse the injuries are, the higher the impairment rating of a victim of a workplace accident.
Why Impairment Ratings Matter
Impairment ratings matter because once a victim has their impairment rating, they can make determinations regarding settlement negotiations with the negligent party that directly caused their accident. As an example, if a victim who is eligible for worker’s compensation has a 30% impairment rating, and the maximum amount of weeks allowed for compensation related to that injury was 300 weeks, their benefits would last for a total of 90 weeks (30% of 300 weeks = 90 weeks.)
However, impairment ratings can become a valuable tool to use in negotiations with other insurance companies or negligent parties that have liability and responsibility to compensate a victim for their losses if they resulted from their direct negligence or recklessness. In other cases, if a manufacturing defect caused the injury, the victim could use this impairment rating to illustrate the actual damage that the manufacturing defect caused because of the injury.
For a free legal consultation with a Impairment Rating and Disability Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 529-9122
Challenges Regarding Impairment Ratings
While impairment ratings can prove useful in some disability cases, in others, they create a “one-size-fits-all” landscape, meaning that individuals do not get evaluated according to their unique facts and circumstances. Physical therapy is typically never a straight line from start to finish, but it often includes setbacks or periods where the victim does not heal quite as quickly. The process takes a considerable amount of time and can come in bursts of progress, along with weeks of maintenance.
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Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is when a worker receives a determination from a doctor or other treating medical professional that their injury or condition has reached a point where no further functional improvement is likely, even if there remains a need for continued physical rehabilitation or medical treatments. Ultimately, this means that a victim of an injury can expect no further improvement, even with additional treatments. Once MMI occurs, a victim may not have the ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
However, reaching MMI quickly following a workplace accident may also impact a victim’s ability to receive higher compensation amounts in a personal injury or product liability claim against a manufacturer. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the injury, reaching MMI may or may not impact the compensation amount of a civil case.
If a victim has reached MMI with complete and total paralysis, they can still pursue a large settlement offer or judgment if those injuries were the direct result of someone else’s negligence or a manufacturing defect. A Los Angeles impairment rating and disability lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand how all these determinations regarding your health can affect your case. Call today to get started.
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Impairment Ratings and Your Case
If the facts and circumstances of your case leave you unable to file a claim for workers’ compensation regarding your workplace injury, you still might have the legal right to file a claim against other entities or persons that directly caused your injury. Some actions taken by third parties that could allow you to file a claim against them include:
- A manufacturing company that designed or distributed a flawed or defective product, leading to your injuries (product liability law).
- Another contractor or company working on a job site that caused your injuries as a direct result of their negligence (personal injury law).
- A person acting negligently or recklessly who directly caused your injuries, such as a worker operating machinery under the influence of drugs or alcohol (personal injury law).
If you have a significant impairment rating or developed a disability as a result of your workplace accident, you might have another independent element to help you prove that you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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Learn How We Can Help You Today
If you suffered injuries related to an accident at work, learn how a Los Angeles impairment rating and disability lawyer can help you recover the settlement you might be entitled to receive. Contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 529-9122 today. CIV § 335.1 sets a two-year time limit on personal injury lawsuits. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started.