Maryland Workers Compensation   

Ratings are important to Maryland workers compensation cases.  Obtaining one  could be the difference between lifetime medical coverage and substantial compensation, or nothing! Workers comp ratings are often referred to as ratings, ppd rating, permanency rating, disability rating, disability evaluations, or even independent medical evaluations (IME).  Each of these terms can carry multiple meanings but for the purposes of this write we are referring to the point in a workers compensation case when medical treatment has stopped or come to a point of palliative treatment only and the injured worker is ready to seek permanency money.  

What is a workers comp rating?

For a quick explanation see the definition of a rating.  A workers comp rating, as referred to in workers compensation cases, is an evaluation and accompanying report by a qualified physician.  The evaluations are performed for the purposes of determining if the injured worker has sustained any permanent impairment because of the workplace accident.  The physician will meet with the worker and observe, test, and listen to issues that the worker has with the injured body part.  He or she will then draft a workers comp rating report containing all of the above information along with medical history.  Most importantly, the physician will include a rating percentage which will help the workers comp attorney determine the expected value of the case.  In Maryland, when performing a workers comp rating the physician is required to use the 4th Edition of the American Medical Associations Guide to Permanent Impairment.  There is however, more to evaluating a claim for settlement value than just this rating number.

Do I need to get a workers comp rating?

  • It is important to have a workers comp rating for a number of reasons including obtaining the compensation to which Maryland workers are entitled under Maryland law.  Unfortunately, the injured employee has no way to force settlement out of the workers compensation insurer but can obtain a “mini settlement” by using a workers comp rating report.  A Maryland workers compensation attorney can force compensation from the workers comp insurer by filing for a hearing before the workers comp commission after a workers comp rating has been performed.  In Order to file for the hearing and be successful in obtaining a favorable award the injured worker will need to have a impairment rating.  If there is no impairment rating then the workers comp commissioner will likely not have enough evidence to award compensation.


  • In addition to obtaining the compensation there is an additional and perhaps more compelling reason to have a workers comp rating performed.  Future medical treatment.  Once a rating is performed it is established that the worker has a permanent problem that may indeed require future treatment.  The workers comp rating will often mention the possibility of future treatment but will also provide a point of reference and argument when attempting to secure medical care in the future.  Without a workers comp rating the insurance company will likely argue that there was no permanent problem established and any need for treatment is related to age, degeneration, arthritis, or other accidents.
    In short the rating will (presumably) get the injured Maryland worker an impairment award.  The impairment award is necessary to solidify any chance of the employee obtaining medical treatment for life.  Very seldom is medical coverage provided for any extended period of time when the claimant did not receive an impairment award by the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.

When do I get my workers comp rating performed?

Often, injured workers get frustrated with their Maryland workers comp attorney because it is taking so long to receive compensation or a settlement.  It is a sediment any qualified workers comp attorney knows all too well.  With workers comp settlements it is most often necessary to obtain a workers comp rating before agreeing to any type of settlement or permanency compensation.  This is because the rating helps provide a starting point for the attorney to estimate settlement value.

Unfortunately for the injured worker, an accurate workers comp rating can only be performed when the injured worker is discharged from medical care.  This means that the injured worker must be done with treatment.  If medical treatment carries on for 5 years, a workers comp rating will likely not be performed for 5 years.  What is the reason an injured worker must wait until treatment is finished to be rated?  Permanency compensation to the injured worker is only an entitlement if the injured worker has a permanent impairment.  To determine if an impairment is permanent the injured worker can not be seeking treatment to make them better.  They must be at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

Who will perform my workers comp rating?

An injured Maryland worker must be very careful choosing who performs the workers comp rating.  Choosing a qualified physician is as important to the process as is choosing a qualified Maryland workers compensation attorney.  The physician must first know how to use the 4th Ed. AMA Guide to Permanent Impairment.  Having a solid grasp on this book is necessary and failure to use or even completely understand the resource can completely dismantle the workers future rights.  Also, there are certain circumstances an internal medicine physician is qualified to perform the workers comp rating while other times it may be best to use an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, neuropsychologist, or psychologist.

One further consideration when choosing a doctor to perform a workers compensation rating is whether that doctor ordinarily performs favorable ratings to the insurance company or the injured worker.  There are physicians that are regularly used by claimants attorneys and there are physicians that are regularly used by insurance companies.  Do not trust the work comp insurance adjuster to point you in the correct direction.  Take a look at the rating doctors the insurance companies commonly use.  If you are scheduled to see one of these doctors for a rating and do not have an attorney it is highly advisable to seek out representation before any settlement or permanency discussions take place.  The doctors on this list may very likely provide a workers comp rating percentage that is far below what the injured worker is entitled.

Remember: Workers Compensation Attorney charge a fee only when they recover money for you, and more often than not will recover far more than if the case is handled by the injured worker.

For a free consultation call Maryland workers compensation attorney and personal injury attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh now  Call UsClick to email  or just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!


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Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh and his office offers workers comp rating information about informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes formal legal advice. If you need the advice of a Maryland workers compensation lawyer, please contact him today. He has offices throughout the state and various convenient meeting locations.  Each and every case needs to be evaluated before legal advice can be provided.  Under no circumstance should the information on this website be considered medical advice. This is an attorney’s website and is not affiliated with any government agency or government entity of any kind.
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Workers Comp Ratings Help
Service Type
Workers Comp Ratings Help
Provider Name
Andrew M. Rodabaugh Esq.,
Telephone No.410-937-1659
If workers comp ratings are performed properly they can lead to thousands of dollars to the injured worker but also provide the evidence to secure future medical treatment.