Sunday, June 28, 2009
What is Your Impairment worth?
I received a comment on this from someone and I thought it deserved a posting on this Blog. First any impairment rating may or may not be correct. Any of the parties may be able to dispute the rating or number and this often happens for the claimant. Do not take the first impairment rating as the end of the story. It is often wrong and even a medical opinion you are at maximum medical improvement can be wrong. When you receive a rating consider questioning it (legally this is an involved process and best done by your attorney). In any event let's say that the rating you receive is a high one. Let's also assume you are not permanently and totally disabled (if you might think you are get with an attorney right away). Lastly let's assume it is truly a whole person rating as certain injuries are not. Even then if you receive say a valid 20% whole person impairment rating what is it worth? Believe it or not there are other variables to consider. There is an age variable. There is a variable for your wage. The lower your age the higher the worth of the impairment. The higher your wage the higher the worth of the impairment. These variables make it essential that the calculation be performed on a case by case basis. One person may get $1000 for every one percent whole person and another $4000 for each percent or even more. Colorado also puts limits or caps on how much you can get so there simply is no easy answer here. Finally if the insurer agrees with the rating they will file a Final Admission often seeking to close the case. Please realize you must also consider your future medical needs. Insurers will try to limit all benefits so take any Final Admission as an effort to end your claim or at least greatly restrict it. This means any Final Admission requires a very careful analysis to protect your interests. Do not accept it at face value without doing so. We almost always object to Final Admissions and take timely and appropriate legal action to advance the cause of the claimant.