What happens when the doctor declares me to be permanent and stationary?
At this point, any temporary disability benefits will cease, and the insurance company will begin paying you permanent disability benefits. Your doctor will issue a report outlining your disability, any apportionment to non-industrial injuries, and any future medical care that you may be owed.
What if my treating doctor declared me to be permanent and stationary (P&S) and I don't agree with the doctor's decision?
Just like in private health care, if you don't agree with the decision of your doctor, you may seek a second opinion. If your treating doctor declared you to be P&S and you do not agree with his or her findings, you are entitled to be evaluated by a QME (qualified medical examiner). More than likely, your insurance adjuster will send you the paperwork needed for this. However, if you do not have an attorney, you can always find the form on the DWC website. For your convenience, a link has been provided below.
If you have an attorney, your attorney will file this paper on your behalf. After the paperwork is complete, the Medical Unit will issue a panel list of three doctors. The insurance company will strike one name on the list, and you will be given the opportunity to strike another name. The name that is left will be the panel Qualified Medical Examiner, and will decide all issues in your case.
What if the panel Qualified Medical Examiner (QME) declared me permanent & stationary (P&S) and I don't agree with the doctor's decision?
If you are not represented by an attorney and you don't agree with the findings of the panel QME, I recommend that you seek the advice of a licensed attorney at this time. The issues can get very complicated, and an attorney will help you navigate both the procedural and legal processes.
However, if you are not represented by an attorney, you may request the doctor issue a supplemental report addressing specific issues, or you may depose the doctor in regard to the areas you feel do not adequately address your industrial injury.
Should I settle my case now that I have been declared Permanent & Stationary?
If you agree with the doctor's decision, and you wish to settle your case, now is an appropriate time to do so. The insurance company will likely offer you a settle via a Stipulated Award or via Compromise and Release. If you are unsure if the settlement offered is reasonable, then I recommend seeking the advice of a licensed attorney as soon as possible.
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