Overview of Work Comp Settlement
Should you sustain an injury at your workplace or contract an illness related to your work environment, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. One of the key determinants of the worth of your workers’ compensation settlement is a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). In order to secure the maximum possible settlement for your workers’ comp claim, it is advisable to engage the services of a qualified attorney. This legal professional can assist in validating the severity of your injuries and confirm that they were indeed acquired in the course of your employment. Settlement in work comp cases is a significant factor for both employers and employees. It represents the resolution of claims and signifies the closing of a chapter marked by injury, rehabilitation, and negotiation. But a recurring question many individuals grapple with is whether a work comp settlement is determined by a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).
Understanding Functional Capacity Evaluation
The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a comprehensive series of tests conducted by a licensed physical therapist or an occupational therapist. Its purpose is to evaluate an individual’s physical ability to perform specific tasks in relation to their job. The evaluation includes tasks that simulate work activities such as lifting, bending, reaching, squatting, or carrying objects.
The FCE delivers a robust, objective report outlining the injured worker’s functional abilities and limitations. This report is then used to inform decisions related to return-to-work readiness, disability determinations, and, indeed, work comp settlements.
The Role of FCE in Work Comp Settlement
FCE is a pivotal factor in determining work comp settlements because it provides an objective measure of the individual’s physical capacity to resume work. However, it is not the sole determinant. It is one of several factors considered during the settlement process. The FCE’s importance lies in its ability to validate the severity and impact of an injury on the claimant’s ability to work.
The Scope of FCE: Beyond Physical Abilities
The FCE is more than just a physical evaluation—it takes a holistic view of the claimant’s ability to perform work tasks. This involves an evaluation of the person’s cognitive ability, psychological condition, and pain tolerance levels. All of these aspects can directly influence a person’s ability to return to work and, consequently, the final settlement amount.
Other Factors Influencing Work Comp Settlement
While the FCE is undoubtedly a crucial piece of the puzzle, it’s not the only one. Other factors can also significantly influence work comp settlement amounts. These may include the individual’s age, the severity of the injury, future medical needs, and the potential for future wage loss. The injured person’s lawyer and the insurance adjuster will negotiate these factors and more during the settlement process.
FCE as a Valuable Negotiation Tool
In the negotiation phase of the settlement, the FCE can serve as a powerful tool for both sides. For the injured worker, it provides an objective and comprehensive assessment of their ability to work. For the insurer or employer, it can help to limit the extent of their liability by providing a measurable, objective basis for determining settlement amounts.
In Summary: The Place of FCE in Work Comp Settlement
In conclusion, the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) plays a crucial role in determining work comp settlements, but it’s not the only factor. It’s a comprehensive evaluation tool that provides a robust framework for understanding an injured worker’s ability to return to work. It offers an objective basis for negotiation, helping to ensure that the resulting settlement is fair and justified.