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Measuring Disability in Job Accidents

Burdine & Brown Jan. 23, 2020

One of the most difficult things to do is to measure someone's degree of disability or impairment. There is a measurable test that has developed over the last 10 years in an effort to accomplish this objective. The test is called a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).

Unfortunately, there are some software programs that the FCE evaluators are utilizing whose goal is to demonstrate that the injured person is not giving their full effort, they are malingering, they are underreporting their abilities, and exaggerating their impairments. This software program attempts to show that when one's heart rate does not increase after exertion then the injured person is not giving their full effort. There is no science behind this conclusion only anecdotal, hearsay evidence.

However, it is important that if you are asked to undergo FCE testing that you must give your full effort. It is a test that will take 4-5 hours. Some examiners do take pictures which is absolutely absurd (it is a waste of time), but it is absolutely important to give it your all. If you are guarded because you have pain, you must work through that point of pain so that the examiner believes you are giving him or her maximum effort.

When the report is written by an FCE examiner who does not want to be fair but only has the insurance company's interest at heart, your physician will look at the report and wonder why you did not give it your full effort. The FCE report can harm your relationship with your doctor. Do not let that happen to you. I know who the most appropriate FCE examiners are who are fair and balanced. Call me and we can talk about this testing. While it is not perfect, many doctors do rely on its results.