Q: I have an upcoming statutory MMI and IR rating with a DD. How do I know if the rating I receive is a fair rating?
I have had three surgeries on my shoulder. I had three because I had an infection from the first surgery. The final surgery was Anterior Capsular Reconstruction. My doctor gave me a permanent weight limit restriction of 30 pounds. My profession that I have been in for 30 years requires me to lift more than 30 pounds.
A: The best way to check your rating is to have it reviewed by your treating doctor or another person that is familiar with impairment ratings such as an attorney. The fact that you had multiple surgeries on the shoulder will not effect the rating. Essentially, the doctor will be measuring your strength and range of motion. He will compare the good shoulder with the bad shoulder and subtract the difference. The rating is done according the the AMA Guides to Evaluation for Permanent Impairment. If you feel the rating was not done correctly, you have a right to challenge it in court. You will need to get an alternate rating that says something different to support your position.
A: Thanks for your question.
As you are probably aware, statutory MMI is a legal fiction that mandates you have gotten as well as you ever will 104 weeks after your TIBs begin to accrue (essentially after you started missing work b/c of your injury). The MMI date is actually the date when your physical condition has stabilized and not likely to change by more than 2%. To give you a rating the DD must follow the proper edition of the AMA Guides to give you a rating AFTER an examination. Like many things with WC laws, the AMA Guides were not written to fairly assess or assign an impairment to measure a workers ability to return to a particular job or the loss if unable to return to that job.
Many injured workers (you ARE NOT a "claimant"! That word is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as a pretender) do not understand that they do themselves a disservice if they try to feign their work abilities or their ability to use their shoulder b/c the DD is required to compare your injured shoulder with the other noninvolved extremity to obtain a range of motion (ROM). If the DD c/n use a ROM because the tests are invalid, it will probably result in a lower IR rating.
I hope I helped and I am sorry if my disgust for the WC system bleeds through with my writing.
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