We are happy to answer any questions that people have about Illinois injury cases.  Three questions we get asked a lot are what are the abbreviations FCE, IME and MMI?

FCE- Stands for functional capacity evaluation.  Basically it’s a test that has you perform a series of activities throughout the day to determine if you need any physical restrictions before returning to your job or what capacity you can work in.  It’s an objective test that measures not just ability, but also effort.  If you are found to have used a bad effort it can hurt your case.

IME- Stands for independent medical examination.  This is the insurance company’s right to send you to a doctor of their choosing to see if you are really hurt, what your diagnosis is, whether or not your problem is work related, what treatment is needed or anything else that they want to ask.  It’s usually a one time visit.  Many of these doctors are hired guns or almost always favor the employer.  Some are truly independent.

MMI- This means maximum medical improvement or as good as you are going to get medically speaking.  We don’t consider settling a case until a client is at MMI because once you settle you can not get any more medical treatment at your employer’s expense.  Sometimes you are at MMI, but still need ongoing physical therapy or a yearly exam.  Your doctor determines when MMI has taken place.

If you have questions about any of these terms just let us know.


We are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys.  Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.