Navigating Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) in Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claims

Navigating Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) in Indiana Workers' Compensation Claims

Navigating the complex world of workers’ compensation can require a good lawyer, especially when determining the extent of your injuries and the compensation you deserve. One crucial aspect of Indiana workers’ compensation claims is permanent partial impairment (PPI).

Understanding PPI involves answering several key questions: What is PPI? How does workers’ comp determine it? What steps can you take if you believe your PPI rating is inaccurate or unfair?

These are some of the challenges you may face while navigating the process.

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What Is Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI)?

Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) is a medical assessment that determines the extent of permanent damage caused by a work-related injury.

Workers’ compensation expresses a PPI rating as a percentage, indicating the degree of impairment to the injured body part or system. This rating calculates an injured worker’s compensation for their permanent injuries.

In Indiana, the authorized workers’ compensation doctor determines an injured worker’s PPI rating. Once the doctor believes the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning their condition is not expected to improve further with treatment, they will assign a PPI rating based on the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board’s guidelines.

Recent Trends in Zero PPI Ratings

Our workers’ comp lawyers have noticed an alarming upward trend in the number of zero PPI ratings being assigned and reported to the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board. They see information that indicates this is occurring at a higher level than the Board has seen in recent history.

This concerning trend suggests that many injured workers may not receive the compensation they deserve for their permanent impairments. It also highlights the importance of hiring a lawyer to proactively advocate for you if you believe you received an inaccurate or unfair PPI rating.

How Is a Workers’ Comp Doctor Chosen?

How Is a Workers’ Comp Doctor SelectedIn Indiana, the process of selecting an authorized workers’ compensation doctor can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Here’s what you need to know:

Employer-Directed Medical Care

Usually, your employer can direct your medical care for a work-related injury. This means they can choose the authorized doctor you must see for treatment. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may have a network of approved doctors, and you’ll be required to select a doctor from this list.

If you’re unsure about the doctor your employer has chosen, you can request a change of physician.

However, your employer need not grant this request. If your employer denies your request, you may need to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney to explore your options.

Personal Physician

In some cases, you may be able to see your physician for treatment related to your work injury. This is typically allowed if you have a pre-existing relationship with the doctor and have previously received treatment from them. However, you must notify your employer of your choice of physician in writing before seeking treatment.

Even if you’re allowed to see your personal physician, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may still have the right to send you for an independent medical examination (IME) with a doctor of their choosing.

Independent Medical Examination (IME)

An IME is a medical evaluation conducted by a doctor who is not your primary treating physician. IMEs are typically requested by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board.

In most cases, your employer’s insurance carrier will choose the doctor to conduct the IME. However, if you disagree with the findings of this IME, you may request a second opinion from a doctor of your choice. You may need to pay the doctor for this second opinion.

The Importance of an Accurate PPI Rating

An accurate PPI rating is essential for ensuring that injured workers receive the compensation they deserve for their permanent injuries. A higher PPI rating generally translates to a higher settlement amount, as it reflects a more significant level of permanent impairment.

Insurance companies may develop relationships with doctors who are known to assign lower PPI ratings or even zero PPI ratings. This practice allows insurance companies to avoid paying out larger settlements, as a zero PPI rating indicates no permanent impairment and, therefore, no additional compensation beyond medical expenses and lost wages.

Contesting a Zero PPI Rating

If you’ve received a zero PPI rating but believe your work-related injury has left you with permanent impairment, you have the right to contest the rating.

You can do this by hiring your own doctor to perform an IME or by seeking the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

If the IME doctor’s findings differ from the authorized doctor’s zero PPI rating, you may have grounds to challenge the original rating and seek a higher settlement.

The Role of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Challenging Zero PPI

Workers' Compensation LawyerAt Klezmer Maudlin, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers in Indiana navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation claims.

We understand the challenges you may face when dealing with a zero PPI rating or an insurance company that seems more interested in minimizing payouts than fairly compensating you for your permanent injuries.

Our team of attorneys can explain your rights, gather the necessary medical evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They can also represent you in hearings before the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board.

We’ll handle the legal aspects of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery and moving forward with your life.

Contact Klezmer Maudlin to Challenge a PPI Rating

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury in Indiana and have been assigned a zero PPI rating despite believing your injury is permanent, remember that you have the right to contest the rating.

At Klezmer Maudlin, we’re here to help. Representing injured workers for compensation is what we do.

Navigating Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) in Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claims, Klezmer Maudlin PCOur experienced attorneys are dedicated to advocating for the rights of injured workers and ensuring they receive the benefits they’re entitled to under Indiana law.

If you face challenges with your workers’ compensation claim or believe your PPI rating is inaccurate, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

We’ll listen to your story, assess your case, and provide the guidance and representation you need to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Our Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyers provide free confidential case evaluations. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no up-front legal fees. If we do not recover any compensation for you, you owe nothing.

Call our Indianapolis office today at (317) 569-9644 or contact us online for your free consultation.