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Decoding Common Workers’ Comp Acronyms

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

b2ap3_thumbnail_workers-comp-acronyms-DuPage-County.jpgThe world of workers’ compensation comes with its own language that can be difficult for an injured worker to understand. In addition, workers’ comp claims must follow a rigid procedural scheme that can be confusing and frustrating for a layperson to understand.

Clients often rely on their attorney to explain the workers’ compensation process. Below are several terms that may come up in your case.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

MMI is a determination made by a physician that your condition cannot be helped any further by medical treatment. For some people, this will mean that they can go back to work or go back to work in a reduced capacity. For others, MMI means that you will be classified as permanently disabled.

Once classified as achieving MMI, a worker cannot get any additional medical treatment paid for by the employer. There may be ways to dispute the MMI classification if you believe that more treatment may benefit your injury.

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

You may be required to submit to an FCE in order to measure your treatment progress. An FCE can be an all-day evaluation where you are asked to carry out specific tasks that will test your limitations.

The evaluation will look to measure things like your lifting power, ability to stand or walk for a period of time, and balance abilities. You may be asked to use paperclips on pieces of paper or use specialized pieces of equipment that will measure your hand grip.

This type of evaluation has built-in controls that are meant to pick up on malingering (or faking the extent of one's injuries). Evidence of malingering will hurt your case.

Independent Medical Evaluation (IME)

Your employer must pay for all necessary medical treatment, and the employee has the right to choose the doctor. An employer (or its insurer as is often the case) has the right to request an IME for a second opinion.

The IME doctor is chosen by the employer/insurer. In our experience, these doctors chosen by the employer can favor the employer. If this happens, it is important for you to have counsel so that the IME doctor’s opinion can be adequately critiqued.

Contact a Skilled Wheaton, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The DuPage County workers’ comp attorney at the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. has a thorough understanding of Workers’ Compensation terms and procedures. Our firm uses this knowledge to get optimal results for our injured clients. If you are having difficulties navigating the Workers’ Comp system, contact our offices at 630-665-5678. Our attorney offers free initial consultations.



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Our attorneys aggressively pursue every avenue to ensure that you are properly compensated for your pain and suffering, medical costs, or lost wages as soon as possible. You pay nothing until you receive the judgment or settlement you deserve.

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