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Most Texas injured workers don’t know how a loss of reflexes affects impairment ratings in a Texas workers’ compensation claim. When there is a spinal injury, like a herniated disc or a disc bulge, the nerves can be affected. When the nerves are affected, this can result in a loss of reflexes. This loss of reflex is a criterion in determining impairment ratings related to low back and cervical (neck) injuries.

Proving Entitlement To A Larger Impairment Rating

What do you have to prove in order to get this increase in the impairment rating? A reflex test is used to establish impairment for radiculopathy arising out of injuries to the nerves in the spine. There are many ways to determine if you have radiculopathy. The DWC has limited the test for impairment from radiculopathy to a loss of relevant reflexes or atrophy. So, if the doctor tests your reflexes and they are diminished, then your loss of reflexes affects your impairment rating. This will usually double your impairment rating, at least!

Some Loss Counts As Much As Total Loss of Reflexes

Insurance companies have been hiring doctors to testify about the loss of reflexes in these types of cases. They claim that you have to have a total loss of reflexes to get the higher impairment rating. But there is good news for injured workers. The DWC has ruled that a total loss of reflexes is not required. You only have to prove SOME loss to qualify for the higher impairment rating (See Appeals Panel Decision 111710).

If you have a back or neck injury (lumbar or cervical), then you must question any impairment rating you get, especially if you have noticed some loss of reflexes in your arms or legs. And as always with an impairment rating, have both your doctor and a  workers’ compensation lawyer review your impairment rating for errors.

We cover everything you need to know to dispute your impairment rating in our FREE book, The Ultimate Survival Guide For Texas Injured Workers. Download your copy today!