Kevin Kampschror, Esq.
NRS 616C.490(2) states that within thirty (30) days after receiving from
a physician or chiropractor a report indicating that the injured employee
may have suffered a permanent disability and is stable and ratable, the insurer
shall schedule an appointment with the rating physician or chiropractor selected
. . .(emphasis added.)
In other words, if you may have a permanent impairment and are ratable,
you will receive compensation based on your age, wage, and percentage
of impairment per body part. This is known as a Permanent Partial Disability
(“PPD”) award and/or settlement. Notice the words in the above
statute that were underlined and in bold. Even if you
may have suffered a permanent disability, the insurer
shall schedule you an appointment with a rating physician.
Injured workers receive impairment awards according to the AMA Guide to
Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th edition. The problem with this is that many physicians are not familiar
with what the law states regarding a permanent impairment and what it
means to be ratable, and may not be familiar with how the AMA Guide works
regarding permanent impairments. If physicians are not well versed, injured
workers certainly are not well versed, and could be leaving thousands
of dollars on the table that they are entitled to, without even knowing it.
This is a complex – and probably the most important – area
of workers’ compensation law. As always, it is advised you seek
an experienced attorney who is able to assist in obtaining all benefits
that you are entitled to under Nevada law.