Injured workers often ask if they will receive a settlement at the end of their worker’s compensation case. The answer is –it depends. If there is objective evidence that your injury will not totally heal, then you should receive a permanent partial disability award, PPD for short.
Before your condition can be rated for a PPD award, several events must happen.
The impairment rating will be based on a recognized national guide, such as the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. While a doctor decides how high your PPD rating is, a Washington state law sets forth the money value of a PPD rating based on the year in which the worker was injured. For example, once a doctor determines that an injured worker has a permanent impairment equal to 10 percent loss of use of their arm, what does that mean? If the injury was in 2014, complete amputation of an arm was valued at $118,266.42. So, if a doctor says there are objective findings of a 10 percent loss of use, the worker would receive 10 percent of $118,266.42. There is nothing added for pain and suffering, or for future lost wages.
Statutory PPD amounts for various body parts can be found here:
IME doctors often earn upwards of $500,000 per year doing exams for the Department of Labor and Industries and self-insured employers, so they tend to favor the people who pay them, not the injured workers. Doctors often disagree on the PPD rating. If you feel you are not getting a fair rating, contact us to discuss your options.
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