Permanent Disability Percentage: What Does It Mean For Your Workers’ Compensation Case?

BY: Koszdin | Thursday, May 31, 2018.

If you have suffered a permanent disability on the job, a permanent disability percentage will be assigned to your workers’ compensation case. However, this percentage makes no sense if you have little to no knowledge about workers’ compensation laws.

In fact, it is not uncommon for two injured workers who suffered the same on-the-job injuries in identical circumstances to be assigned different permanent disability percentages. Why does it happen? This is the question we asked our Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney from the Koszdin, Fields & Sherry law firm.

How is permanent disability percentage calculated?

The most confusing part about PD percentage is how it is calculated in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California and how this percentage translates into financial compensation.

Our best workers’ compensation lawyers in California explain that in order to calculate a permanent disability percentage, medical evaluators and workers’ compensation claims administrators use an assessment of the injured worker’s whole person impairment (WPI).

The assessment of the WPI helps determine the permanent disability percentage, which, in turn, is converted into permanent disability benefits. While this is the most popular way to calculate PD percentage, it is not the only way to determine your permanent disability benefits as a result of a workplace injury.

In some cases, medical evaluators choose to assess an injured worker’s disability by examining his or her injuries, medical condition, and any limitations and restrictions in performing job duties and Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) as a result of the on-the-job injury.

AMA Guides to calculate disability percentage

Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California explain that the permanent disability percentage will be calculated in accordance with the guidelines set up by the American Medical Association (AMA).

While the AMA Guides are supposed to help medical evaluators assess the severity of an injured worker’s injuries and medical condition and determine the extent to which the injury affects the worker’s ability to perform daily living activities, in no way does it mean that this assessment provides an accurate evaluation of a worker’s injuries.

Our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney notes that the AMA Guides do not take into account every possible condition, impairment, or limitations, and do not always reflect the real extent of a worker’s permanent disability. That is why it is highly advised to be represented by a lawyer in order to ensure that you are being provided with a fair and accurate evaluation of your workplace injury.

What does this permanent disability percentage mean?

More often than not, injured workers do not know what the permanent disability percentage assigned to them means, as this percentage is calculated through a formula.

A rule of thumb is that the larger the percentage, the bigger the damages and losses that you have suffered or are expected to suffer a result of your workplace injuries. A permanent disability percentage can range from 0 percent to 100 percent, which represent the level of disability and loss of earning capacity. However, in some cases, injured workers with a 100 percent permanent disability may still be able to work, which is why the PD percentage does not always represent the full extent of a worker’s injuries.

Each permanent disability percentage corresponds to a fixed number of weeks of compensation, which, in turn, is provided to the injured worker as a lump sum or over a certain period of time. This compensation depends on your fixed average weekly wage.

Does it sound confusing? Do not hesitate to speak to our attorneys at the Koszdin, Fields & Sherry law firm to find out more. Call our offices at 818-812-5639 or (toll free) 800-747-3447 or complete this contact form.

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