In personal injury litigation today, there is much too mch emphasis on the "disabiliyt rating."  This is the percentage loss of use of a body part.  The percentage loss of use is derived by your doctor who performs a "disabilty evaluation" under the AMA Guids to Permanent Impairment.  So, if you have a herniated disc to L4/5 from a car accident in Norwich, Connecticut you might be evaluated by your doctor who might determine that you have a 25% permanent impairment to your low back.  In theory only, this "rating" of 25% is a more serious injury than a 5% permanent impairment to the low back.  It provides a way to compare one injury to another, and way to quantify the relative severity of two injuries.  

But who really cares about such a camparison?  Isn't your condition unique to you?  Also, why to you care about how your injury compares to another persons injury?  Again, isn't your condition unique to you, and doesn't your injury affect you in ways that are unique to you?  

That is why I believe that the disabilty "rating" has very little value in any personal injury case.  Yes, it is certainly the custom in Connecticut to use the AMA Guides, but it is definately not mandatory.  

In my opinion, a far more accurate way to evaluate an injury is work disabilty.  When we evaluate work disabiltiy we start with the activities that activities that are essential to your work.  Next, we evaluate how your injury affects your ability to perform the essential work activites.  Next, we obtain a medical opinion about your ability to do these activites after your accidenrt, and compare that to how you were able to do the job before the accident.

Therefore, if you are a worker, keep your focus on how your injury affects you on the job.  Articulate your job duties to your doctor so her or she can describe how your injury impacts those activities. 

If you or anyone you know is seriously injured from  a car accident in Norwich, Connecticut contact the car accident lawyers of The Bartinik Law Firm, PC., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut, 860 445 8521 or toll free at 888 717 4211.  

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut
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