Appellant v. Respondent
In Appellant v. Respondent, Appeal No. 931125, 1994 WL 31842 (Tex. Work. Comp. Com. Jan. 26, 1994), the claimant contended that Dr. D's assignment of an impairment rating was invalid because he found the date of maximum medical improvement to have occurred on July 8, 1993, the date of his examination, but not the mid-January 1993 statutory date of maximum medical improvement.
Thus, according to the claimant, Dr. D's calculation of his impairment rating did not take into consideration his condition on the date of the statutorily imposed maximum medical improvement.
The Appeals Panel found no merit to this argument. "Although the Appeals Panel has stated that the 'threshold issue of the existence of MMI cannot be neatly severed from assessment of an 'impairment rating,' and that these issues are 'somewhat intertwined,' . . . we have never held that MMI and IR can never be individually considered and decided."
"IR can be decided separately from MMI, for example, when MMI is agreed to by the parties or when, as in this case, statutory MMI has been reached. In such cases, it is essential only that MMI be reached before an IR is assigned." Id.
Even though the foregoing decision predates the revision of Section 130.1(c)(3), its reasoning is consistent with the 2004 revision to that section. The panel recognized that "in such cases, it is essential only that MMI be reached before an IR is assigned." Id.
Because the impairment rating was assigned after the date of maximum medical improvement, the "Claimant's challenge to Dr. D's IR that Dr. D relied on a later and wrong date of MMI which caused a defective impairment rating is in effect a challenge to the presumptive weight of Dr. D's report." Id.