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Permanent Disability ("PD") is a percentage ultimately assigned to each injured worker who pursues a claim beyond "medical only." It can range from 0% to 100%.
In an editorial in January 2012, David J. DePaolo, founder, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of WorkCompCentral, wrote: "One of the stated purposes of the 2004 reform laws that instituted a new permanent disability rating system based on the AMA Guides 5th edition was to promote uniformity and predictability. About the only thing that is really uniform and predictable is that if an injured worker does not have an attorney then that injured worker will get significantly less money as compensation."
"Apportionment to causation" required by Labor Code Section 4663 is usually unscientific and illogical. See my article, Apportionment: Science or Science Fiction? Bills sent to the Governor that would exempt from consideration race, religious creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or genetic characteristics were vetoed by two Governors. Read Governor's veto message. So, even though such apportionment is "antithetical" to California's non-discrimination policies, it continues as to be "permissible and required by the principle that apportionment is based on causation."
Coupled with the elimination of vocational rehabilitation, injured workers are left with little to help get back on their feet. Without legal assistance, the worker is likely to receive a paltry amount based solely on the tables in the AMA Guides, as assigned by a Qualified Medical Evaluator whose report may miss key elements of disability.
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