The Missouri Workers' Compensation Law provides that an injured worker is entitled to compensation for permanent injuries to particular body parts.  A doctor will assign a permanent partial disability rating when that doctor believes that the injured worker is "at maximum medical improvement."  In other words, the doctor will give you an impairment rating once the doctor feels that your condition is as good as it is going to get.  This rating will be based on a percentage of disability for a particular body part.  For instance, if you broke your wrist, the doctor might give you a 10% impairment rating.  The wrist is worth a total of 175 weeks of disability, so a 10% disability rating comes to 17.5 weeks of disability benefits that you will receive in settlement of your case. It is hardly ever a good idea to settle your case for the employer-provided doctor's rating, as the rating is nearly always lower than what a judge might give in your case.  If an insurance company refuses to offer more to you than their own doctor's impairment rating, you should consult with an attorney to see if your case is worth considerably more than what is being offered.
Jill S. Bollwerk
Helping St. Louis area residents with personal injury, workers' compensation & insurance appeals/disputes.