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Thread: Hand Injury

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Hand Injury

    Last August (2009), I injured my left hand at work and received stitches which resulted in several workers comp clinic (therapy) visits. Eventually, it got to a point where my hand had improved and I was released for "regular work" despite the fact that I still was not at 100%. To this day. I am not able to make a complete fist with this hand and have never gained full strength, either. I am a construction worker by trade and this situation has effected my ability to properly grip and hold heavy tools and equipment like I used to. I fear that the effects are permanent. I am still able to perform my job but with adjustments in the way I handle objects with that hand. If it makes a difference, I am a California resident, also. I don't feel that further rehab will do anything to improve my hand. Am I entitled to a cash settlement based on my situation?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Hand Injury

    under the old permanent rating schedule a soft tissue injury like yours there
    would be some pd payments.. and your injury would rated differently

    under the current schedule put in place by governor arnold an injury like
    yours is an unlikely possibility now, not impossible because you do have
    problems with your hand but, the rating with the new guides call for
    a much worse/more strict measure for disability...

    i am not one of the experts here but i think i gave you the idea, one of them
    or more will explain it much better than i.............pv

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Hand Injury

    There is no scheduled loss of use rating in Calif comp.
    At MMI, your Dr/PTP will rate you using the AMA 5th edition for rating disability, that number will then be converted to a WPI/Whole Person Impairment rating for determining the final PD/WPI %. You are rated to how the injury affects your ability to compete in the open labor market...how the injury has affected your whole person. Not just how your hand injury affects your ability.

    You cannot force a cash payment to settle/close the claim. The carrier is free to pay out the indemnity you may be due on a bi weekly schedule. Leaving your ability to seek future medical treatment open.
    You'd also have the right to petition to reopen this claim within 5 years for "new and further disability''. Close the claim by C&R/cash and you lose that option. You would also be accepted liability out of pocket for any additional treatment necessary to your injury.

    CA Code of Reg. Title 8, Ch. 4.5 Sub Ch. 1 Art. 7
    California Permanent Disability Rating Schedule, an impairment-based rating system which is based on the 5th edition and modifies ratings based on adjustments for Future Earning Capacity, occupational demands and age. 5th adopted as of January 1, 2005. California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board issued a decision February 2009 in the consolidated cases of Almaraz v. SCIF, et al. and Guzman v. Milpitas Unified School District that the AMA Guides were rebuttable.
    http://www.impairment.com/Use_of_AMA_Guides.htm
    Just as an example, using the AMA conversion tool, if you have a 15% rating to your hand, that would convert to a 8% PD/WPI. (that doesn't mean the Calif PDRS would be the same)
    Using the 8%, there would be 32 weeks indemnity due, at approx $230/wk or about $7360 +/- depending on the facts surrounding your claim.

    Ratings are extremely complex calculations. Many PTP's are not fluent in ratings. The DEU/Disability Evaluation Unit would also do a consultative rating. If you disagree with the rating issued by your PTP, you can request a PQME... a list from the Medical Unit of 3 Dr's to do a evaluation and issue a rating.

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