Wondering if your client is faking their injuries is probably one of the most daunting and upsetting thoughts that an attorney can have after their client retains them.

After all, the attorney wants to trust their client and believe that the severity of their injuries are not exaggerated. Any misinterpretation of a client’s injuries can put the case in jeopardy of losing in trial which can be catastrophic for both the client and attorney.

So, how do you know if your client is telling the truth and portraying a true representation of their actual complaints of pain and the impairments that go along with them? While it is difficult for a client to “fool” multiple practitioners or even their attorney, it can and does happen.

While we as practitioners have tools in our tool belt to help navigate our evaluations in order to determine whether someone is a symptom magnifier and or a malingerer, these are not fail-safe measures to ensure the validity of the patient’s pain complaints or corresponding impairments.

There is one extensive evaluation, however, that has high validity, objectivity, and reliability to help determine the accuracy of a patient’s injury. This evaluation is the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). In essence, the FCE is designed to confirm the diagnosis and quantify the severity of their injuries or impairments.

The FCE is a trial-tested evaluation that has been around for decades. It is the industry standard for how we document an individual’s impairments and disabilities and the effects of the injury on the patient’s life; more specifically, their ability to perform work related tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities. This 4-hour test has built-in validity and reliability measures that detect if a client is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the evaluator.

Any symptom magnification or malingering tactics tried by the client will be discovered and documented to determine the true nature of the client’s injury and if they presented truthfully by giving a full effort during the testing. This evaluation is the ONLY testing measure that we as clinicians have to accurately determine if the client’s subjective complaints are consistent with objective measures.

If you have a client where you are unsure of the accuracy of their diagnosis or are skeptical of their subjective pain complaints, a Functional Capacity Evaluation is the only evaluation that will confirm the severity of their complaints and impairments.

Faking their injuries

Dr. Poppie has served the legal industry as a treating clinician, damages expert, and educator for over 20 years. He specializes in the evaluation and treatment of multi-trauma injuries related to motor vehicle collisions, standard of care, and malpractice claims, and as a damages expert helps educate insurance companies and both plaintiff and defense counsel to provide a viable pathway for obtaining a fair settlement based on ethics, research, and evidence-based standards of care.

As a certified functional capacity evaluator, Dr. Poppie helps to document the true objective measurements of how the impairments and disabilities that the client is suffering from the impact their ability to perform work-related tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities in an easy-to-understand method for the insurance company or jury members.

Dr. Poppie founded Injury Reporting Consultants to help attorneys and insurance companies resolve personal injury cases through medical analysis and reporting. Injury Reporting Consultants is a collaborative team of dedicated medical professionals using their knowledge to ensure fair outcomes for all parties in personal injury cases.

Recognized specialties include Motor Vehicle Collision, Life Care Planning, Medical Cost Projection, Functional Capacity Evaluation, Onsite Job Analysis, Functional Impairment, and Disability, Workplace Injuries, Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Standards of Care, Current Best Practices, Physical Therapy Malpractice, Negligence, File and Medical Record Review, Improper Documentation, Expert Rebuttal Reports, and Expert Testimony.

If you have a client that you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at: brad@injuryreportingconsultants.com


Dr. Brad Poppie, DPT, CLCP, CFCE, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy | Certified Life Care Planner | Medical Cost Projection Specialist | Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator | Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.