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Using Technology to Help Fight for Justice on Behalf of Injured Workers

The law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP (GEK) is proud to announce that partner Sherry Grant, in conjunction with members of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association's (CAAA) AMA Guides Committee, has produced a second edition of the Pearls of the AMA Guides 5th Edition as an eBook.   GEK partners Adam Dombchik and Richard Felton also contributed to the book as members of the AMA Guides Committee.

Technology for Injured Workers

"This eBook is a true team effort, and is our updated response to the fundamental changes to Workers' Compensation laws that went into effect in 2005 as a result of Senate Bill 899," explains Grant, who created the first edition of the Pearls in 2007.

"SB 899, a so-called reform, completely changed the way permanent disability for work-related injuries was to be determined in California, and not in a good way. None of us—my colleagues at GEK, members of CAAA, committed physicians—were going to stand by as injured workers in our state were on the brink of being so negatively affected by this legislation."

With SB 899 came the incorporation of the AMA Guides into the California Labor Code, where it remains to date. In response to this, CAAA created an AMA Guides Committee as a statewide educational conduit that would lessen the negative impact of the "reform" on injured workers. Committed physicians spent hours teaching members of the AMA Guides Committee the "medicine" and how the Guides did or did not accurately address the effects of impairment on a worker's ability to perform activities of daily living.

The message of both editions of the Pearls was and continues to be simple—no single table or chapter of the AMA Guides can be relied upon solely to assess accurately a person's permanent impairment. Instead it is only by pulling together pieces from all of the applicable sections of the Guides that the complete permanent impairment picture is created. This is vitally important because it is the percentage of permanent impairment that dictates the amount of an injured worker's permanent disability payment. The higher the impairment percentage, the greater the permanent disability benefit.

"Most recently, the information, knowledge and opinions  that were shared resulted in this latest edition that not only contains more 'pearls,' but also enables the reader to highlight text, take notes and email documents included in it.  There is no other resource like this in the California workers' compensation community.  This eBook is an evolution in education and we are proud to help contribute to this project. "

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