American Medical Association Impairment Ratings: Only one factor when determining the value of your case

The Illinois legislature enacted revisions to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act which became effective September 1, 2012.  The most controversial and misunderstood revision allows the insurance company to use the American Medical Association (AMA) impairment ratings (Factor I) to determine the value of a claim.

However, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration together with the AMA impairment rating when determining the value of your Workers’ Compensation  case.  They are:

  • Factor II  The occupation of the injured employee- What type of work does the employee do?  Sedentary, light to medium or medium to heavy work.  The Permanent disability may be judged to be greater for someone who works construction as opposed to someone who works at a desk.
  • Factor III- The age of the employee at the time of the injury-  A younger person would have to live with a permanent disability longer than that of an older person.
  • Factor IV- The employee’s future earning capacity- Is the employee’s earning capacity the same as before the accident?  Is the employee told they no longer have a job?  Is the employee unable to perform the work they were doing before the accident?
  • Factor V-  Evidence of disability-

(a)  Demonstrated evidence of disability corroborated by
medical records
(b)  Credible testimony
(c) Ongoing symptoms related to the injury

If you sustained an injury after September 1, 2011, and the insurance company has offered you a settlement contact our office. We can assess your claim to see if what the insurance company is offering is fair.  DO NOT SETTLE YOUR CLAIM without speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

If you were injured prior to September 1, 2011,  the new rules do not effect your claim.   However, we will gladly provide you with an assessment of your claim.  Even if the insurance company hasn’t made you an offer to settle your claim and they are telling you that your claim is closed, YOU MAY STILL BE ENTITLED TO A SETTLEMENT.  Your claim can only be closed by signing a Lump Sum Settlement contract or by arbitration.

You can contact us directly at 800-437-2571 or complete the free case evaluation form on this web site.

Dear valued clients:

Our office is aware of the Covid 19 situation and is taking measures to keep our staff safe during these difficult times. For the immediate future, we will not be meeting in person with any of our clients. However, all of our clients can reach us by telephone, email at or by facsimile at 630-451-9477. Our office remains open and we will continue our work as usual. We feel this is best for everyone concerned.

If you have recently suffered an injury from a work related accident and would like to retain our services, the entire process can be done by telephone, electronic and/or regular mail. We have operators available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please feel free to contact us anytime at 312-661-0450 and speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. Once this is has passed, we will gladly meet with you in person to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Thank you for your patience and consideration. Be safe and stay healthy!


Donald Fohrman
Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd.