What Can I Do If I Don’t Agree with My Permanent Impairment Rating?

Posted Thu 18th Jun, 2015 | by | on Workers Compensation

Notice and Proposal to Select a Physician
If an injured worker decides he or she does not agree with the “permanent impairment rating” provided by the insurance company’s “authorized treating physician” then the worker may proceed to get another medical opinion regarding “maximum medical improvement” and “permanent impairment” from another physician, who is not employed by the insurance company as an “authorized treating physician.”  A negotiation process commences between the insurance company representatives and the claimant, beginning with a proposal by the objecting party regarding the selection of a physician who is “independent” of the insurance company. 

The negotiation process can be lengthy, and requires the negotiating parties to know which physicians might provide a more favorable “impairment rating” to their clients. Not having any background or experience in this area, an unrepresented claimant would have no way of knowing whether they negotiated a good choice of physician, or a bad choice. Only “Level II” accredited physicians may provide such evaluations, which means that it is highly unlikely that the claimant can choose, or will be able to agree on, their own family physician for the such independent medical examination.  Further if the claimant makes a bad choice among doctors, who are virtually unknown to the claimant in the first place, the results could be devastating for the injured worker’s claim.  The Denver injury attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, have the background and experience to know the doctors who are more likely to help injured workers, in order to pursue greater compensation, in terms of money and medical treatment” for injured workers.

Notice of Failed IME Negotiation
Negotiating parties, who may include injured workers, their lawyers, insurance companies, and their lawyers, have a limited amount of time to agree upon an “independent” physician. If either party determines that no agreement on a physician can be reached, then a “Notice of Failed IME Negotiation” is filed with the State of Colorado and mailed to the other party. Again, such filing triggers deadlines for parties to file another document called an “Application for Division Independent Medical Examination.” Again, if deadlines are missed, rights can be lost. At Kidneigh and Kaufman, we have the experience to respond timely to such documentation, so rights are not lost.

Application for a Division Independent Medical Examination
If the injured worker determines that they want to consult another “independent” physician to determine if they have received appropriate medical care, and if they have appropriately completed medical care, and if so, whether their impairment rating is high enough, then, presuming they have appropriately completed all of the above documentation, the injured worker must complete and file an Application for a Division Independent Medical Examination.  Whether this is a good idea, or whether settlement negotiations are more appropriate, will vary greatly with each particular case.  The Denver personal injury lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman, have decades of experience in these matters and can assist you in coming to the correct decision in your particular case.

Call the Kidneigh & Kaufman Denver injury and workers’ compensation lawyers today for a FREE consultation! 303-393-6666.