Workers’ Compensation Physical Evaluation and Disability Ratings
A workers’ compensation insurance company’s approved physician must evaluate you and assign you a disability rating for you to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The higher your disability rating, the more substantial your benefits will be. For example, suppose an employee suffered an injury that will not cause any permanent damage but will prevent them from working for several weeks while they heal. In that case, they will likely receive a low disability rating and will qualify to receive minimal benefits.
On the other hand, if an employee suffers a catastrophic injury at work that will almost certainly result in permanent damage, their disability rating will likely be much higher, thus qualifying them to receive more substantial benefits. If an injured employee has been so seriously injured that they cannot hope to return to work at all in the future or sustained a permanent disability that significantly diminishes their ability to live independently, compensation looks different. In this case, it is likely the injured employee may qualify for long-term or permanent workers’ compensation benefits.
An injured employee has the right to see more than one doctor from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier’s approved list. There are specific rules in place regarding second opinions, visiting multiple workers’ compensation doctors, and other options an injured employee may take when they believe they have received an inaccurate disability rating. An Indian Wells workers’ compensation lawyer is an excellent resource if you are unconvinced that a workers’ compensation doctor gave you an accurate disability rating.