Whole Person Ratings
When a work-related injury occurs, the injured person will typically be assigned a disability rating based on the nature and severity of his injury, he will undergo the appropriate medical treatments and the disability rating will determine the level of compensation to which the injured person is entitled. However, once a medical professional has assessed that the injured worker has reached his maximum medical improvement:
- The temporary disability benefits will generally be stopped.
- The injured person will either be assigned an extremity rating or a whole person rating, which will then play a role in determining his permanent disability benefits.
What Are Whole Person Ratings?
Whole person ratings are types of evaluations used to describe the extent of a person’s injuries when that individual has suffered a disability that affects the way his entire body functions. As a result, whole person ratings are typically used in the most serious cases of permanent disabilities when injured workers are unable to earn a living (either for the long term or permanently) and their quality of life has been seriously impacted due to their workplace injury.
Like extremity ratings, whole person ratings are based on the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, and they – along with a person’s age and income prior to the injury – are crucial to determining the amount of the benefits a person will receive for his permanent disabilities.
In general, whole person ratings:
- Are assigned to individuals who have suffered head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, torso injuries and/or leg injuries while working (per Colorado Code 8-42-107(2))
- Are given as a percentage, with higher percentages being assigned to individuals with more extensive and severe injuries (and higher percentages being associated with greater amounts of compensation).
When to See a Lawyer
Despite the fact that the doctors have the AMA’s Guide to reference when they are assigning whole person ratings:
- They do not always assign the appropriate ratings to injured workers.
- Insurance companies may dispute the assigned rating, attempting to claim that a person’s injuries are less severe in an effort to try to undercut the injured person’s benefits.
In such cases, it’s crucial that injured workers consult with an experienced lawyer who can help them stand up for their rights and secure the maximum possible benefits for their injuries.
The Superior Legal Service from the Bisset Law Firm
Have you been severely injured at work? If so, the skilled Denver workers’ compensation attorneysat the Bisset Law Firm want you to know that we are here to help you get the appropriate whole person rating, fiercely defend your rights and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. Our experienced legal professionals are passionate about providing each of our clients with the highest quality legal representation. While this involves keeping each of our clients informed at every stage of their cases, it also means that we will:
- Promptly return all of their phone calls
- Meet all of their case deadlines
- Provide them with clear and honest answers about their case, including possible challenges they may face along the way and when it may be more or less favorable to accept a settlement offer
- Work diligently and relentlessly to help them secure the maximum possible benefits for their work injuries and permanent disabilities.
Contact Us Today
We offer knowledgeable, superior counsel to anyone seriously injured on the job, and some of our key strengths include our fierce negotiating skills, our extensive trial experience and our readiness to take decisive action when the denial or delay of a workers’ compensation claim is finally overruled. Contact the Denver workers’ compensation lawyers at the Bisset Law Firm by calling (303) 894-8900 to learn more about your rights and receive a professional evaluation of your case.