I often have attorneys call and ask, “How do we help the jury fully understand the extent of our client’s injuries and how their impairments affect their life?” My answer is always the same, “They won’t understand until there is a doctor on the stand that can translate medical terminology into layman’s terms, and how those terms have actually disabled their life.”
The complex linguistic nature of medical jargon has always been the “Achilles’ heel” of an injury case. When insurance companies and juries don’t understand the client’s medical records or the extent of an injury there can be a huge delta between the perception of the injury and how the injury has actually affected the client’s livelihood. Without a complete, understandable explanation of how the client’s impairments and disabilities affect their ability to perform vocational tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities, a case can easily become deadlocked. If this happens, any unnecessary stalls cause the client to suffer.
Our job at Injury Reporting Consultants is to provide understandable expert reports and to help educate attorneys, both plaintiff and defense, to understand medical jargon and break it down into simple terms that insurance adjusters and a jury can easily understand.
At Injury Reporting Consultants, we have 20 years of experience specializing in providing expert reports such as functional capacity evaluations, vocational and earning capacity evaluations, medical cost projections, and life care plans that will support your legal documents in order to help obtain a swift and fair settlement. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us at 720-982-2000 or at email@example.com. Please let us know in the message if it is an emergency.
In personal injury cases, one of the hardest things to prove to opposing counsel or the insurance company is how your client’s injuries affect their daily life – more specifically their ability to perform work-related tasks, activities of daily living, or leisure activities.
Many times opposing counsel will have an Independent Medical Examination doctor evaluate your client only to produce a report stating that your client is perfectly fine and that they should have no problem whatsoever performing all of their life’s duties based on a 5-minute physical examination.
An examination of this length does not give the doctor any indication of how the client’s collision truly affects their livelihood and therefore gives the insurance company false data regarding the client’s status.
At Injury Reporting Consultants, we specialize in combating such unfairly weighted reports that pigeonhole your client as a malingerer or a symptom magnifier. Our reports are designed to help both parties and the insurance company understand the client’s true impairments and disabilities from their collision and not just if they can touch their toes or raise their arms over their head. If you would like support in developing a rebuttal report, our team is here for you. We can be reached at 720-982-2000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After clear liability is fully established in an injury case, the emphasis of the client’s ability to continue working or working at the same job and their ability to earn money should take precedence.
The questions the attorney must ask themselves when they need an Earning Capacity Evaluation are:
- How do the client’s injuries affect their ability to work?
- Will the client’s ability to earn income be affected secondary to impairments and disabilities sustained in the accident?
- Can the client work at all, or what job modifications will need to take place for them to stay employed and continue to earn income?
- How much do the jobs that the client can perform pay?
An Employability and Earning Capacity Evaluation consists of a Functional Capacity Evaluation to determine their functional abilities by evaluating both fine and gross motor skills. Then, a vocational interview is performed to determine transferable skills and vocational type testing which will determine the injured persons employability and overall earning capacity.
These tests are needed when an individual has a partial loss or a permanent total loss of earning capacity due to their impairments and disabilities.
IME’s (Independent Medical Evaluations) and FCE’s (Functional Capacity Evaluations) are both very informative reports in personal injury cases if used properly. The aim of the IME is to determine whether or not your client needs further medical treatment, has any work restrictions, and whether their condition was caused by the accident. However, a physician should avoid placing arbitrary restrictions on abilities without objective assessment and measurement.
The FCE is the preferred method if there is a dispute over the extent of your client’s physical restrictions. Many times, physical impairments, disabilities, and work restrictions obtained through an FCE vary greatly from the insurance company’s doctor’s after undergoing an IME. The FCE is the only way to provide valid and objective measurement of your client’s physical restrictions.
I firmly believe in the medical necessity of an IME coupled with an FCE. The FCE is performed at the time of an Independent Medical Evaluation. The combination of these procedures provides the most realistic insight into impairment/disability, causation, apportionment, and retained safe work capabilities. Both of these exams play a critical role in your client’s recovery and compensation for their injury.