Hip and Shoulder Injuries: Whole Person or Extremity Under the Colorado Statute?
Hip and Shoulder injuries are some of the most common injuries I see and also some of the most complicated. The way your doctor and your insurance carrier rate your injury subtype can have a huge effect on your case. It is important to know the difference between these types of injuries to ensure you receive the right value for your case.
There are two basic classifications for these injuries, whole person and extremity. It may not seem like that big of a deal when your insurance company classifies your shoulder or hip injury as an “extremity” injury instead of a “whole person injury”, however, the classification of your injury can have a large effect on the amount of money you could be awarded for permanent impairment. If the insurance company has only agreed in their Final Admission to pay you a lower sum for an extremity injury, but you really should be compensated for your injury as a whole person, it could mean a substantial difference on what they owe you for your impairment rating.
In order to correctly assess your injury, the doctor needs to know every single way your injury reduces your movement or stops you from doing things you could normally do. If your shoulder injury has caused pain into the back or neck it could be rated as a whole person. If the shoulder injury is limited solely to the area on the shoulder and down the arm it may be rated as an extremity. The same would apply for hip injuries and the lower back.
These issues can be complicated, and it is never too early to ask an attorney about your case to avoid common mistakes. Most Workers’ Compensation attorneys (myself included) will evaluate your case for free, all it takes is a call. If you have been hurt and want someone to fight for you, call me at 303-792-5595 or submit a request using the button on the right side of the page to have someone from our office contact you.