When A Medical Assessment Has Been Ordered By ICBC

If a car accident victim in British Columbia has filed a claim with ICBC, that same claimant/victim might be asked to undergo a medical assessment. ICBC uses that tactic in hopes of revealing a claimant’s readiness to return to work.

Basic features of ICBC’s medical assessment

The person that will be examined could hear the examination referred to in more than one way. It might be called a Functional Capacity Evaluation. Alternatively, it might be referred to as a Work Capacity Evaluation. The assessment/evaluation is usually performed by an occupational therapist (OT). Sometimes it is done by a medical doctor.

How the assessment might work to the claimant’s advantage:

Completion of an assessment demands the carrying out of a full day of tests. Obviously, the person being tested could express a feeling of exhaustion at the end of that day of testing. The expression of such feelings would be noted by the OT. It would call into question ICBC’s contention that the evaluated individual has recovered to the point where he or she stands ready to return to the workplace.

After the OT has completed the assessment, he or she classifies the nature of the tasks that the examined claimant can do. The OT basis the classification on the claimant’s performance of tasks that were meant to simulate the jobs in a work environment. The OT’s classification scheme shows that the examined individual is ready for specific tasks, those that are sedentary, light, medium or heavy in nature.

How the assessment can work to a lawyer’s advantage?

That day of testing might be scheduled for a time that is close to a scheduled trial date. Then the Accident Lawyer in Burnaby would have the results of the tests. Armed with such results, the attorney for the person on trial, the claimant, could argue that his or her client has not demonstrated the ability to cope with the sort of responsibilities that the same client would be given, upon returning to the workplace.

Is there just one medical assessment for any given case?

No, ICBC could feel unhappy about the results provided by an OT. It might ask for a second assessment, one at which a medical doctor performs the examination.

How an assessment might weaken ICBC’s argument?

It could be that the claimant’s condition has failed to respond to treatment. In that situation, the testing would show that the recovery had not proceeded at the pace that had been anticipated by those that had overseen the claimant’s case. Consequently, the person that was supposed to be going back to work might fail one or more tests.

Faced with the results from the failed tests, those that ordered the assessment must walk-back their claims. The tested individual has shown that he or she is not ready to return to work.