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Resolving Impairment Rating Disputes in a Colorado Workers’ Comp Case

Posted on in Workplace Injury

Larimer County workers compensation attorney impairment rating

Work-related injuries often have long-term effects that go far beyond the initial costs of medical treatment, and in many cases, employees are left with permanent disabilities that limit their income and earning capacity. Colorado workers’ compensation includes permanent disability benefits in these cases, with the amount determined based on your previous income and an impairment rating assigned by your treating doctor. Because this impairment rating is so important for determining permanent disability benefits, it is crucial to ensure that your doctor’s assessment is accurate. If you disagree with the doctor’s recommended rating, you have the option to dispute it, and an attorney can help you do so.

How Are Impairment Ratings Assigned in Colorado?

When you are injured at work in Colorado, you will usually have to choose a doctor from a list provided by your employer. This doctor is responsible for assessing your condition and recommending and providing treatment, and as time passes, your doctor will also assess the progress of your recovery. When you reach a point at which your doctor no longer expects your condition to improve, he or she will report that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and give you an impairment rating based on any remaining physical and mental limitations.

If only certain body parts are impaired and you are still able to earn a wage, you will be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability benefits that are calculated based on your impairment rating. If your impairments are such that you will never again be able to earn wages, you will be eligible for Permanent Total Disability benefits, which are typically paid at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wages from before the injury.

Disputing Your Impairment Rating

If you believe that your impairments are more severe than what your doctor’s rating suggests, you can work with your attorney to request a Division of Workers’ Compensation Independent Medical Examination (DIME) from a qualified medical examiner who has experience with the workers’ compensation process in Colorado. This examiner will thoroughly review your case and your current condition and provide their own impairment rating, which may result in an increased benefit amount. If you believe that the DIME’s impairment rating is still inaccurate, you can request a hearing with a judge from the Office of Administrative Courts (OAC) who will issue a ruling on your case after reviewing evidence and testimony.

Contact a Larimer County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Hoggatt Law Office, P.C., we are committed to helping Colorado’s injured workers get the benefits they deserve. If you have a dispute regarding your impairment rating, we can advise you of your options and help you request a DIME or a court hearing. To arrange a free consultation regarding your case, contact our tenacious Fort Collins workplace injury attorneys today at 970-225-2190.

 

Sources:

https://cdle.colorado.gov/impairment-rating-information

https://cdle.colorado.gov/medical-providers/division-independent-medical-examination-dime

 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

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Fort Collins, CO 80524

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