Independent Medical Examinations for work injury or bike injury
A forensic medical examination is a top-to-toe examination looking for injuries and taking samples that may be used as evidence in a police investigation and any subsequent prosecution. A forensic examination can be very time-consuming but is vitally important. Histories from caregivers should be obtained separately and as soon as possible; careful documentation is essential. A forensic examination should only be performed by a health professional who has the appropriate training and with appropriate facilities available. Much of the following can be applied to adults and younger patients.
Impairment ratings are used to assess the degree of damage that resulted from your work-related injury or occupational disease. An impairment rating is an assessment of the severity of your permanent impairment. A impairment rating is important in calculating the amount of monetary compensation you are owed to compensate you for the permanent impairment related to your workplace injury or illness.
If an injury permanently impairs your physical condition and/or mental health condition in any way, no matter how minimal, then you have permanent impairment. That does not mean you will necessarily receive a permanent impairment award.
When Is Permanent Disability Determined?
Once your medical condition has reached a stationary level, at which there is no further treatment available that will improve your condition, your doctor may assess whether you have any permanent impairment. This stage is commonly referred to as “maximum medical improvement.” This does not mean the point at which your condition will never improve; it simply means the point at which your condition is stationary and will not improve other than with the passage of time.
How Is a Permanent Disability Rating Determined?
Your doctor will assess your condition through a physical examination to determine the severity of your permanent impairment.
Your doctor will perform certain tests to determine the level of your impairment. For example, if you have a permanent problem with your shoulder, your doctor will likely perform tests to determine your reduction in range of motion. The tests are non-invasive.
Based upon the results of the tests and the overall physical and/or mental examination, the doctor will use the state-required guidelines to determine the degree of your permanent disability. These can be referred to in percentages, such as 5% permanent disability of the right shoulder, or degrees or categories, depending on the terminology used in your state.
Each injured body part is given a separate disability rating based on the severity of the injury using the American Medical Association’s (AMA's) book Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment to assess disability. Which edition of this book your state uses (the 3rd, 4th, or 5th) is an important consideration, as the criteria for each level of permanent impairment has been modified slightly in each edition.