approved work injury claim


An MTA Train Conductor was randomly whacked in the head with a glass bottle. The 38-year-old MTA worker was taken to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.

This article will discuss this fact pattern within California Workers’ Compensation Law.

Does The Term “Stable” Have Any Meaning Within Workers’ Compensation?

No. The term “stable” does not mean anything within California Workers’ Compensation Law.  The term “stable”, however, can be interpreted by Medical Providers to mean something else.

In California Workers’ Compensation, there is terminology in place to describe an Injured Worker’s disability state.  These “legal” terms can trigger either the payment or the cessation for payment of benefits.  For instance, for injuries which prevent an individual from performing their job. the term “totally temporarily disabled” would apply.

There are lesser forms of disability as well.  For example, an Injured Worker could be assigned a work limitation such as “no lifting above 50 pounds.” Also, there is the term “permanent partial disability”. This means that the individual has some residual disability. This can include work limitations.

Permanent partial disability status will likely trigger the cessation of total temporary disability payments.

Finally, there is “permanent total disability.”  This means that the individual is permanently incapable of working.  This finding may trigger the payment of permanent disablity payments.

Finally, and relevant to the pending fact patter is the term “Maximum Medical Improvement.”  (MMI) According to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Disability,  5th Edition, Maximum Medical Improvement which  “refers to a date from which further recovery or deterioration is not anticipated, although over time there may be some expected change.”  The AMA Guides indicate that “an impairment should not be considered permanent until the clinical findings indicate the medical condition is static and well stabilized.”  Thus, the question is whether someone who is “stable” would be considered as MMI.  MMI status most likely terminates the payment of total temporary disability payments.  In this fact pattern, it is possible that an evaluator could interpret the term “stable” as MMI.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.


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