In contrast to extremity ratings that assess the loss of function of a specific body part or faculty (such as seeing or hearing), whole person ratings are intended to evaluate how a permanent disability sustained from a workplace injury affects the entire body. These ratings at typically given as a percentage (i.e., an x% whole person rating), with the percentage referring to the degree to which the injured party is viewed as an able-bodied individual. One of the most common examples of injuries that affect the entire body and, as a result, are attributed whole person ratings are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) because they may not only affect a person’s ability to speak, think and perceive but also the ability to balance, walk and coordinate the limbs.
Doctors trained to assign whole person ratings do so with reference to the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment; these Guides, as well as factoring in an injured worker’s age and his weekly income immediately prior to his injury, are used to establish the full amount of the injured party’s workers’ compensation benefits.
Protecting Injured Workers’ Rights and Interests
It’s important to point out that, despite the fact that doctors are trained on how to use the AMA Guides to establish whole person ratings, many physicians can get these ratings wrong, which could lead to workers compensation benefits being grossly shorted for injured parties. In such cases, it will be essential to work with an experienced workers compensation attorney to ensure that:
- You are given the appropriate whole person rating based on the nature and severity of your injuries.
- Your rights are fully protected and represented at every stage of the workers compensation process.
- You have the best chances of receiving the maximum possible benefits for your injuries and losses.
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon workers compensation lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their workplace injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury while working, contact us by calling (800)-553-3125 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.