Why is an AMA (American Medical Association) Medical Impairment is so Crucial to Your California Personal Injury Case?

I have been practicing personal injury law in San Diego county California since 1999; and since that time, I have come to one conclusion about what the biggest value driver is in a given person's injury case in the state of California: 

The answer is a little complex: apart from the "actual injuries" the person has suffered, the question becomes whether the injured person has a permanent impairment to a particular body part (or parts) from the accident, and, more importantly, is that impairment to a particular body part properly documented under the American Medical Association 5th Edition Guidelines by a duly licensed medical doctor in California?

Please keep in mind, the above answer means your biggest piece of medical evidence in terms of allowing your injury lawyer to argue or substantiate appropriate case settlement value is, besides your actual documented injuries, whether you have a medically documented impairment to a function of a body part or parts. This is the big secret to the true value of any injury case for settlement or for a jury to consider in terms of damages, and it is often overlooked by the doctors, and the lawyers who practice in personal injury law in California. Keep in mind, NOT every injury will warrant an AMA impairment - please read on for more details:

Why is the AMA 5th Edition so important? 

Well, if it is warranted on your particular patient’s case, it can help your patient’s injury lawyer establish the following (which basically boils down to value points, or value drivers, for your patient’s injury case):

1. A medically supported impairment to a body part by a medical doctor;

2. A medical expert that can be called as a witness at or before trial to support the permanent impairment;

3. The degree or percentage of that impaired body part in relation to your patient’s entire body;

4. Future medical care based on the impaired body part or parts;

5. Duties under duress, and loss of enjoyment of life damages backed by a medical doctor;

6. An objective finding supporting the impaired body part; 

7. the claims adjuster or jury get an opportunity to understand the permanency of your patient’s injury;

8. Credible, independent, and objective evidence as to your patient’s impairment that is respected world-wide;

Also, did you know?

1. It is used by the insurance company's reviewing your patient’s case for settlement value (Colossus and its cousin computer programs);

2. The majority of the insurance companies, when reviewing an injury case, use a computer program that asks them whether or not there is an impairment to a particular body part, and if it is documented per the AMA guidelines by a medical doctor;

Here is Some More Information for You to Consider Regarding the AMA Impairment:

Concerning the issue of impairment or disability, lamentably, Colossus (a secret computer program that may be evaluating your personal injury case!) will not give credence to reports from chiropractors. They must come from a medical doctor or D.O. with specialty. (General bias against chiropractic may stem from the fact that the original computer program was developed in Australia during a time when chiropractors were not fully recognized by the Australian government). In light of this, some are advocating the sandwiching of chiropractic between medical providers, such that the initial visit is with a medical practitioner who recommends chiropractic care, then sees the patient at the end of that care to provide any final impairment assessment needed.

Why my San Diego Injury Law Firm is a Good Choice for Your Injury Case:

Unfortunately, I am one of the few San Diego California injury attorneys that uses an AMA impairment rating, 4th 5th or 6th edition, on a given PI case, when warranted. If more California injury attorneys would incorporate this knowledge in their injured client’s demand packages, it would change settlement results for all injured folks for the better.  You see, Colossus and its computer cousins will accept them (AMA medical impairment ratings) and the value driver is sometimes 35% to 40% of the entire injury claim!  Not every case will have an impairment rating (about 60% of a lawyers’ average case will if it is looked for, and 40% will not because it is not medically warranted based on the nature of the injuries), but every case should be evaluated for one. Thus, it is in the patient’s best interest to have it documented if warranted and supported by the injury and bio-mechanical force of the impact or injury producing event.  This is also an area where most attorneys, for a variety of reasons, fail in documenting in their demands! 

If you are looking for an experienced AMA impairment lawyer on your California accident, please give me a call, as I will be more than happy to explain it all to you. GIVE ME A CALL AT (619) 813-7955!