One thing we mention on this blog a lot is the importance of being honest. Don’t lie about how you hurt yourself. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms. If you are truthful, things will usually work out. When you start to lie you end up giving the insurance company a reason to deny your case.
A FCE (functional capacity examination) is a medical test performed when it’s been determined that you’ll never get back to your old job because you have restrictions from your doctor that your employer can not accommodate. It doesn’t happen in most case, but it does happen in serious injury cases.
At the end of the exam, a very long report will be prepared that will detail your ability to lift, bend, stand, sit, pull, push, etc.
The test itself can take the entire day. And the most important thing for you to do is ……….. BE HONEST!!!
I know that sounds like obvious advice and most of you wouldn’t go to a doctor’s exam and lie. But human nature is to say and do things that we think people want hear/see and a FCE is designed to screw people over who act that way.
By that I mean let’s say the exam starts at 8:00 a.m. You have a doctor’s restriction that says no lifting more than 25 pounds. At 8:30 a.m.you might be asked to lift a weight that says 30 pounds and looks large. You try to do it and can’t.
At 10:30 a.m., after a series of different tests, you are asked to lift a different weight that looks smaller than the earlier weight and says 20 pounds on it. This one you lift easily and tell the examiner that it’s no problem for you.
Guess what, that second weight that was labeled 20 pounds was actually a 30 pound weight. It’s a test that is designed to test your honesty as well as your abilities. In fact, thoughout what is often an eight hour day, many of the tests are designed to see if you are telling the truth. But human nature is to think that if a weight says 20 pounds, you should be able to lift it.
So just do your best the entire day and you will get a valid report. It’s actually expected that some of the test results will contradict themselves, but if too many do, the whole exam will be thrown out.
I actually learned this in my former work life as a defense attorney. In fact I met with a doctor that showed me all of the ways that they try to trick people. It was fascinating and a bit dishonest. You have a right to know that this happens and also to know that if you are honest everything will be fine.
If you have a FCE coming up we’d be happy to discuss with you in greater detail what will happen just as we do for an IME or any other part of the case. Call us at (312) 346-5578 any time.