Louisiana Noteworthy Cases Interpreting the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment – Sixth Edition

Louisiana Noteworthy Cases Interpreting the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment – Sixth Edition

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Thomas A. Robinson analyzes noteworthy cases from Louisiana that interpret the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Robinson initially sets forth the relevant statutory authority:
 
La. R.S. 23:1221(4)(q) provides as follows: No benefits shall be awarded or payable in this Paragraph unless the percentage of the anatomical loss of use or amputation, as provided in Subparagraphs (a) through (o) of this Paragraph or the percentage of the loss of physical function as provided in Subparagraph (p) or (s) of this Paragraph is as established in the most recent edition of the American Medical Association's "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment."
 
La. R.S. 23:1221(4) provides as follows: (4) Permanent partial disability. In the following cases, compensation shall be solely for anatomical loss of use or amputation and shall be as follows: (h) For the loss of a leg, sixty-six and two-thirds percent of wages during one hundred seventy-five weeks. (q) No benefits shall be awarded or payable in this Paragraph unless anatomical loss of use or amputation, as provided in Subparagraphs (a) through (o) of this Paragraph or loss of physical function as provided in Subparagraph (p) of this Paragraph is greater than fifty percent as established in the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, copyright 1977, by the American Medical Association.
 
He examines in detail cases dealing with the following:
  • Cases Involving Injury to Arm.
  • Cases Involving Injury to Knee.
  • Cases Involving Other Issues.
 
 
 This article is excerpted from the new AMA Guides volume of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Matthew Bender) (to be published October 2009). This volume on the AMA Guides is intended to help attorneys, claims adjusters, and other personnel apply the AMA Guides to individual cases. Because most insurance law and workers’ compensation law is statutorily-derived and cases are adjudicated at the state level, it is important to be familiar with the impairment rating system used in each practitioner’s state. States have different philosophies, public policies, and laws regarding the use and application of the AMA Guides to individual claims administered in that state. To that end, this Volume attempts to capture court cases that have addressed the use of the AMA Guides methodology and impairment rating system, specific to each state.