Personal injury cases often involve many variables, and the injury of each person depends on the specific individual. For example, there may be a class action involving injury against a group of persons, but the impact of the injury on each person may be very different.
To help quantify what would be otherwise difficult to pin down, injured persons can undergo impairment rating evaluations. An impairment rating evaluation is often performed by a physician, or member of the medical field. An evaluation of the person’s injury and the percentage of the whole body that has been impacted lead to a percentage of impairment.
For example, if a person is injured in a work related injury, and there is alleged negligence on the part of the employer, an impairment rating may be sought by either the party or employer (or its insurance company) to determine the extent of the injuries.
Often, impairment ratings are given once medical treatment has initially been sought to have the injuries healed as much as possible. If an impairment rating were done before treatment and therapy were completed, the impairment may be higher.
So, in our example, if a heavy object fell on the injured person while he was working because the object was not properly secured, and this impacted the worker’s ability to walk, his impairment rating would be based on the whole body impairment due to his injuries. This rating may assist the parties in settlement or trial.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring the basics of impairment ratings in personal injury matter. This blog post is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.