During the workers’ compensation claim process, your Mississippi work injury attorney will explain to you what will happen until you return to work. You will learn how to prepare for the independent medical examination, the do’s and don’ts while you are out on workers comp, and what to do if you are assigned a light-duty position. Also, you will learn that at some point you will have to undergo a functional capacity evaluation.
Many injured workers are not sure what it involves and why it is important to undergo this evaluation. However, it plays a critical role in your professional future, because it is meant to determine whether you are fully healed and return to work. In many cases, employees who suffer a workplace accident are left with a disability.
It will be apparent at the end of the functional capacity evaluation and it will give the Mississippi work injury attorney the information needed to proceed with filing for permanent disability rights on behalf of their client, if necessary.
What Exactly Is the Functional Capacity Evaluation?
At some point during the treatment, the treating physician appointed by your employer’s insurance company will determine that you reached maximum medical improvement. This means that no further treatments are necessary, because they are not likely to improve your condition.
At this point, the doctor will send you to a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). This is a series of physical and medical tests that will determine:
- If you can safely return to your job duties
- If you should be assigned to a light-duty position
- If you are left with a permanent disability.
Thus, the outcome of these tests plays an important role in your future professional career. As a result, you should prepare for the day and make sure that you do everything by the book. Your Mississippi work injury attorney will not be present. However, they will give you valuable advice before the appointment.
How to Prepare for the Functional Capacity Evaluation
These are a few general guidelines that every injured worker should know in preparation for the FCE test:
1. Find Out What Your Doctor’s Report Contains
Your treating physician will prepare a report for the team performing the FCE test. Usually, this report contains:
- A description of your injuries
- The course of treatment they prescribed
- How you responded to the treatment.
You must obtain a copy of this report and compare it with the one issued to the FCE doctors. Point out any discrepancies you found between what is written there and the reality (extent of the injuries, treatment, any negative reactions to it, etc.).
Your Mississippi work injury attorney will look over it and signal any issues you should raise during the functional capacity evaluation.
2. Read Your Medical Records
Your medical records contain all the previous injuries, illnesses, or conditions you suffered from. It is important to know them because you will likely have to answer a question on this topic.
You may have forgotten about a football or baseball injury or a fall from the ladder while you were doing home improvements. But the records state that you did suffer the respective injuries. Failing to mention them will be considered suspicious.
At the same time, make it clear to the FCE doctor that there is a difference between your state of health prior to the workplace injury and the current one. This will show that you are not suffering from symptoms caused by older injuries.
3. Prepare a List of Your Current Symptoms
Without exaggerating or downplaying anything, make a list of the symptoms you still experience. Do not leave anything out, such as:
- Recurring pains
- Back or neck stiffness
- Weakness in muscles
- Inability to perform certain movements.
4. Review Your Accident Report
Finally, look over the accident report you filed to make sure that you remember all the facts clearly. After all, the functional capacity evaluation takes place weeks or even months after your workplace accident.
It is natural to forget a few details. However, you will likely be required to tell the FCE doctors what happened and how you were injured. This quick review will refresh your memory and it will only take a few minutes of your time.
What to Expect From the Functional Capacity Evaluation
So, the big day has arrived. You will go for your functional capacity evaluation. The series of tests includes:
- Body function tests: pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying objects of varying sizes and weights
- Dexterity testing: squatting, kneeling, reaching, balancing, bending, crawling, walking, standing, and sitting
- Injury testing: the doctor will measure the strength of the muscles and the range of motions in the injured area.
How to Behave During the FCE Test
Any Mississippi work injury attorney knows that the FCE test is not fully independent. There is pressure on doctors to pronounce you fit for work. This is why you must remember the following things:
- You are being watched from the moment you arrive at the address.
- Every word you say will be recorded.
- Doctors realize if you are exaggerating pain or another type of symptom.
- However, do not overexert yourself in trying to perform various tasks.
Be honest, stop when you feel tired, report any weakness and shortness of breath, and do not be ashamed to say you are unable to perform a certain action. Also, make sure that you wear loose and comfortable clothes, which will allow you to perform various physical activities.
Finally, do not take any pain medication for at least 24 hours before the functional capacity test. It is not in your best interest to dull the pain, get the green light to return to work, and then injure yourself again.
Your Mississippi Work Injury Attorney Will Help You Prepare for the FCE Test
The legal team at Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, knows exactly how important the functional capacity evaluation is. It will determine whether you can go back to your job or not. You may need to accept a less strenuous and lower-paid position. Or you may need to file for disability.
All these important decisions about your future will be made based on the results of the FCE test. Thus, you must be completely honest in all your answers and the way you perform during the test. Also, you can be certain that your Mississippi work injury attorney will do their best to obtain the most favorable result for you.
If you were injured at work, we can help. Schedule a free case review with us and let us give you a reliable legal opinion: 601-519-4181!