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How do I calculate the percentage of whole body impairment?

Atlanta, GA |

I am trying to calculate the percentage of whole body impairment for a worker's comp case and I was wondering how should I determine that percent?

The accident happened at a factory and the client's hand was caught in a press (no substance abuse or "horseplay" was involved). She lost her pinky and pointer finger and can longer bend her middle finger.

Attorney Answers 4


Generally it's a physician, not uncommonly one who practices occupational medicine, who makes that determination, after an independent medical examination. A link to the definitive source reference utilized for this purpose, Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Sixth Edition), is below.

Not legal advice, just general information. I don't practice law in Georgia or hold Georgia licensure. Consult a Georgia lawyer if you need legal advice.

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I also do not practice WC Law in your state but I have practiced WC Law in Virginia for 35 years. If your WC system has a schedule like Virginia's for loss of extremities then a doctor writes a report stating what percentage of each finger has been lost. Or, it may be a percentage of the entire hand. If the doctor uses as his reference the AMA Guide to Permanent Impairments that usually means more. You should be able to contact the Georgia WC Commission for information.

This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.

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The ATP will need to rate the injury for PPD. The percentage can then be applied to the fingers at 34-9-263. If you want to estimate PPD yourself, you will need to review the AMA Guidelines to Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition.

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3 lawyers agree


In Georgia, impairment ratings are determined by a medical book called the AMA Guidelines. Determining a rating can be complicated. You should allow your authorized treating physician to make this determination. If you are not comfortable with your treating DR determining the rating you may be entitled to a second opinion with another DR who can also determine your rating. In order to do this yourself you will need the AMA Guidelines and Title 34 of the Georgia Code. I do not recommend you do this.
One last thought, you may want to meet with a products liability lawyer to see if there is a claim against the manufacturer of the press.

Any information posted on this site by Attorney Mark Skibiel is not intended as legal advice and shall not create an attorney-client relationship. It is recommended that you consult in person with an attorney to address and discuss your legal issues.

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