When you are receiving benefits from a workers’ compensation claim, you would reach the point of maximum medical improvement, where you may not recover further from future medical care.
At that point, you may need to undergo a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) as ordered by the insurance company. This test could determine the extent of your physical limitations and whether you could work in the future after your work-related injury.
After your functional capacity evaluation, you may begin to talk about a settlement with the insurance company. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you negotiate a fair settlement.
This page is intended to address the common question: ‘Is Settlement in Work Comp Determined by FCE?’
What Is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
When you are nearing the end of your physical recovery from your workplace injuries, your treating physician may order a functional capacity evaluation.
This examination is designed to test your physical capabilities and the extent to which you can return to work. Ultimately, you and your employer would need to know which job duties you are able to perform.
The functional capacity evaluation would also determine whether you have any permanent restrictions in light of your physical condition.
The FCE Measures Work Restrictions
The FCE may be carried out by your treating doctor and a physical therapist. They are trying to test your physical strength and capacity after your recovery.
The functional capacity evaluation (FCE) may test the following:
- Push and pull strength
- Overall strength
- Lifting ability
- Range of motion
- Ability to carry objects
- Any other physical abilities that the employee needs to have to carry out their job.
You can expect the test to take a few hours. You have the right to select the location where the test will be conducted.
You have the right to refuse the FCE, but there will be negative consequences for your claim. It is usually in your interest to participate in the examination and be honest with the doctor (while not volunteering unnecessary information).
The Insurance Company Will Be as Difficult as Possible
Many doctors who treat your work injury are being paid by the insurance company. They specify the doctors who you can see. Many FCE reports are skewed in favor of the insurance company because the doctors want to keep the valuable business.
The FCE is paid for by the insurance company. You may not be able to count on fair results from the tests.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you challenge the test results if you disagree with the results. The insurance company wants to cut off your benefits as soon as possible because they do not want to bear the cost.
You Can Settle a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your workers’ comp claim would pay you the following:
- Wage loss benefits that are a percentage of your earnings before the injury
- Medical expenses, including physical therapy, doctor’s office visits, and prescriptions
A workers comp settlement will pay you a lump sum of money now to account for all your future benefits. In exchange for the payment, you are waiving your right to further compensation for your workplace injury.
The FCE will determine the extent of your disability. However, the FCE is not the same as an impairment rating. You would not receive a rating of the percentage of your long-term disability.
Nonetheless, the FCE is considered an important milestone in your settlement. Then, you would know the work activities you could perform and whether and when you can go back to work.
A workers’ compensation claim settlement is not automatic after an FCE. The treating doctor may determine that you can go back to work, and you will have no restrictions. At that point, your workers’ compensation benefits could terminate.
Call Our Workers’ Comp Claim Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers help clients with complex workers’ compensation claims. You should never try to negotiate a workers comp settlement on your own because you will be leaving money on the table.
Hiring an attorney is an investment that could help you maximize your settlement. You can speak to one of our lawyers during a free consultation to discuss your case.
To schedule an appointment, you can message us online or call us today at (888) 424-5757.