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3.3.5 'Duration of the impairment' - para (a)
This criterion is directed both to the length of time for which an impairment has already been in existence and to its likely future duration.
In some cases such as a traumatic amputation, the permanence of an impairment will be obvious. Some other impairments will have been in existence for some time before they are considered permanent or the final degree of impairment can be measured with confidence. Delegates will need to assess this aspect of impairments on a case by case basis, relying on medical evidence wherever possible.
Where an impairment is known to be of a finite duration in the majority of cases (e.g. a fracture to a limb), it should not be considered permanent because it is not 'likely to continue indefinitely'. However, if such an impairment fails to resolve and the medical evidence suggests that the long-term prognosis is poor, it may be appropriate to review the question of permanence.