FCE and Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult cases to get through, physically, mentally, and financially. Because the legal process to settle a workers’ compensation claim can be such a long, stressful one, it is common to see clients struggle with many different issues along the way. One of the most important waypoints to finalizing a workers’ compensation case is by an FCE, and it can be a determining factor in whether you get to move on with your life quickly or end up locked in a legal dispute.

What is FCE?

FCE, also known as Functional Capacity Evaluation, is a somewhat comprehensive medical assessment that closely examines someone’s physical limitations and functional tolerances as they relate to everyday work activities. This is generally done via a variety of tests that measure the restrictions and capabilities of the injured worker in question and might consist of a wide variety of analysis points, including:
• Physical Strength
• Range of Motion
• Flexibility
• Lifting Ability
• Stamina
• The Ability to Safely Carry Objects
How should I treat an FCE?
When you have been ordered to attend an FCE, it should be noted that exaggerating your injuries or symptoms is not a good idea. The FCE is not only requested to assess your physical ability but also your demeanor and earnestness. If you exaggerate your condition, it will be noted in the report and could be presented as bad faith on your part. This, in turn, could reduce your chances of receiving a positive resolution to your workers’ compensation claim despite the genuine injuries you suffered. Instead, do your best to perform as asked Don’t push yourself and risk further injury, but rather put in a normal amount of effort. Be honest with the therapist conducting the exam about how you feel and don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re experiencing discomfort or pain.
What happens after an FCE is completed?
The individual who conducted the FCE will create a report and provide your treating physician with a copy. The doctor will then go through the report’s findings with you. It is essential that you be vocal here about how you felt while performing the exam tasks as well as how you felt afterward, both immediately and a few days after it was completed. How did those tasks impact you? Were you able to live your daily life without pain afterward? Make a note of your symptoms after the FCE and how long they took to abate. This will help the doctor determine whether you should be returned to work as usual or back to work with restrictions, be they permanent or temporary.

An FCE can be an overwhelming experience to think about. You can get through it, however, and rest assured that this usually means the claim process is nearing its end. Make sure that you have an attorney on your side to represent your best interests and needs throughout the claim experience. Do not rely on another’s goodwill to secure your future health and financial stability. The attorneys at Hanagan & McGovern can help! We have the experience you need to ensure you receive the best outcome possible.
Reach out to us today for more information about your workers’ compensation claim and how we can handle the process for you!