No Impairment Rating with MMI?
(San Diego, CA)
My husband was injured on the job (through no fault of his own - which has been verified). He received a concussion, small laceration on back of head and a C-5/6 spine fracture. No surgery was required for anything, but he did have to wear a neck brace for 5 months, went through MRI's, CT Scans, other testing and physical therapy.
His 2 treating physicians said he was at MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) and released him from care 7 months after the accident (leaving it open if he has any issues). Neither one of these physicians gave him any sort of impairment rating. Does this sound right? Is it because he did not require surgery?
We have requested a QME (Qualified Medical Exam) and are awaiting for that to happen. We are currently not represented by a workers comp attorney. We do have a personal injury attorney handling the other portion of this case, but he is not WC attorney.
Shouldn't he get an impairment rating if he has an MMI? It doesn't seem right. Any advice, suggestions, comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "No Impairment Rating with MMI?":
Lori (San Diego, CA):
It's difficult to know what you mean about "the other portion of the case." Unless your husband's injury was the result of a third party's negligence, product defect, or his injury was the result of medical malpractice, your husband's case should be limited to a workers compensation claim.
When an injured worker reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), he or she doesn't necessarily have to receive an "impaired" rating. The doctor(s) may have decided your husband is not impaired. If you both believe your husband is truly impaired then you were right in seeking a Qualified Medical Exam (QME).
At this point you are both in a dilemma. On the one hand we hope your husband's health is not impaired. I'm sure you both feel the same. No one wants to be impaired unless there's no choice. On the other hand, if your husband's injury truly impaired his ability to work, then you can only hope the QME will confirm that.
If you don't succeed after the QME you would probably be correct in seeking the advice and counsel of a workers compensation attorney. Most do not charge fees for initial office consultations. Maybe your personal injury attorney can refer you to a workers comp attorney he or she has confidence in.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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