Abstract

The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides) has been adopted by many jurisdictions for evaluating permanent impairment. The AMA Guides is formally accepted by means of adoptive language in each jurisdiction's statutes or regulatory code, and this adoptive language falls into one of three types: The first type specifies a particular edition of the AMA Guides for use. Such language has the advantage of being unambiguous, but it fails to take into account subsequent editions. The second type of adoptive language specifies use of the latest or most recent edition of the AMA Guides and ensures currency; states such as Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Mexico are jurisdictions that employ this type of language. The third type of adoptive language does not indicate which edition of the AMA Guides to use, and in these jurisdictions the courts must decide which edition to use. A chart lists 26 states, the edition of the AMA Guides used in the state, and the source; the chart also includes states such as Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Carolina, and Washington in which the adoptive language is unclear regarding which edition to use, and in these jurisdictions a court would decide which edition should be used.

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