If you sustained severe injuries as a result of a work-related accident you might be unable to return to your job as a result. Because of this, you may need to either apply for worker's compensation or for permanent disability benefits. Prior to getting approved for worker's compensation or permanent disability benefits, however, your employer could require you to undergo a personal injury evaluation to assess the seriousness of your injuries. During your evaluation, the healthcare provider may perform the following assessments to check both your neurological and orthopedic functions to determine if you are a candidate for one of the aforementioned programs.
The personal injury evaluation physician will conduct a neurological assessment, also called a "neuro exam." During this evaluation, your neurological function will be assessed to see if any of your cranial nerves have been affected as a result of your work-related injuries. Your brain function will also be assessed during this time. Your neuro exam may include testing your reflexes to determine if they react normally to external stimulation such as a tap on your knee with a reflex hammer.
The physician will also ask you to stand up, hold your arms out to the side, close your eyes and ask you to touch the tip of your nose with your index finger. If you are unable to do this or if you lose your balance and veer off to one side, you may need further evaluation such as an MRI test, also called magnetic resonance imaging.
The personal injury evaluation doctor will also ask you to follow an object such as a pen or their index finger with your eyes to assess ocular movement. You could also be asked to stick out your tongue to see if it moves abnormally and to walk so that your gait can be assessed. The personal injury evaluator may also ask you certain questions to assess your cognitive reasoning skills and memory function.
An orthopedic examination often accompanies the neuro exam during personal injury evaluations. During your orthopedic examination, the healthcare provider will perform a range of motion assessment on your arms and legs to determine if you have mobility limitations.
Many types of injuries, including work-related injuries, can cause orthopedic deficits that cause muscle weakness, joint pain, o movement deficits. Your orthopedic examination may also include a visual inspection of your bones and joints to check for inflammation, bone spurs, increased warmth or redness over the joints, and excess joint fluid.
If you were involved in a workplace accident and are required to get a personal injury evaluation to determine your eligibility for workmen's compensation or disability benefits, be prepared to undergo the above assessments. Once your evaluation has been completed and the results submitted to your employer, a decision regarding your benefits will be considered.
If you need a personal injury evaluation, contact a local medical provider such as NW Family Psychology - Premier.