A decade ago, the way the personal injury cases were analyzed and valued was typically via diagnoses, impairment ratings, and imaging studies. Multi-trauma diagnosis that were correlated with positive imaging findings of fractured bones, herniated discs, and ligamentous tears; etc. were substantial evidence that the injured’s impairments were somehow catastrophic and warranted an appropriate settlement.
Those days are long gone and providing the insurance company with that level of documentation and evidence of impairment is subpar. It no longer educates the insurance company on how the injuries that your client has sustained, equate to a loss of functional ability to return to their previous level of function and engage in their life the way they did prior to the collision; more specifically, their ability to perform work related activities, activities of daily living, and leisure activities.
Today, case management MUST be centered around your client’s functional loss from the collision, slip-and-fall; ect. The question you must ask yourself when going through a case is, “how do the impairments that have been documented through treating practitioners and experts, equate to a functional deficit that leads to a disability?”
What if you had an extensive evaluation that you could present to the insurance company that would confirm the diagnosis, impairment rating, and / or imaging studies, and would actually quantify their severity? This evaluation exists and is the only trial-tested, objective, reliable, and valid way to determine how their injuries affect their livelihood. If you haven’t guessed it, the evaluation I’m referring to is the Functional Capacity Evaluation.
The Functional Capacity Evaluation is designed to take the injured evaluee through a thorough series of functional tasks that allow the evaluator to determine functional impairments. These tasks measure fine / gross motor control and dexterity inadequacies, positional tolerances, lifting and carrying deficits; etc. and make valid conclusions reguarding the functional limitations found during testing and how they equate to functional impairments.
Functional impairments are the new gold standard of documentation in personal injury cases. The functional impairments discovered through the functional capacity evaluation will help guide you through your demand letter settlement request and help pave the way for other experts involved in the case to make more holistic opinions on the permanency of your client’s impairment.
Dr. Brad Poppie has over 20 years of personal injury experience providing care as a treating doctor, coordinating rehabilitative case management, and expert trial testimony services. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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