What Determines Your Workers Compensation Impairment Rating And Settlement Amount?

Law Blog

If you were injured while on the job, you'll likely be using worker's compensation to help pay for your lost wages and medical bills. Part of the workers compensation process is that you will be given an impairment rating, which is a percentage of impairment given to injured parts of your body. Higher percentages of impairment lead to larger settlements, which is why you'll want to know more about how the impairment rating is determined.

The Standardized Impairment Rating System

A common way to determine an impairment rating is to use a standardized system that uses a series of criteria to judge your impairment. For example, the American Medical Association has guides that can be used by doctors, which use various factors to come to a percentage of impairment. This typically includes the limitations that a person has and their pain levels due to the injury.

For example, if someone cannot hear out of one of their ears at all during an accident, you may assume that the ear would be given an impairment level of 100%. However, hearing loss may not cause much pain, which can lower the impairment score according to a standardized guideline.

The Worker's Occupation And Age

A medical professional will also consider a person's occupation and age when they determine an impairment score. This is because some disabilities are more common as someone gets older. Using the hearing loss example, it is more common for people to have hearing loss from normal factors as they age. The same can be said for joint pain and vision-related problems.

The occupation of the person plays a role in how that injury impacts their ability to perform the job they have. A construction worker needs to be very mobile in their job, and an injury that prevents them from moving can have a big impact on their impairment rating. However, a desk worker that must be sitting down to perform their job may see a lower impairment rating if they can still perform their job while injured.

The Worker's Average Weekly Wage

The average weekly wage will be used when determining a lump sum settlement. While every state has its own laws regarding how it is handled, it is common for a lump sum settlement to take the average weekly wage and multiply it by the impairment rating. This means that someone with 50% impairment would receive half their average weekly wage as a settlement.

For more information, attend a workers compensation attorney consultation with a lawyer near you.


28 February 2023