This is a first-of-a-kind program for medical experts such as physicians, chiropractors, psychologists and neuropsychologists who serve in workers’ compensation cases. It is appropriate for both treaters and IME providers (both claimant and defense). Workers’ compensation is a $62 billion program with approximately $31 billion being paid for medical and litigation expenses. You will learn how to far more effectively deal with the subtle nuances and hidden pitfalls in comp cases including: causation, impairment, disability, restrictions and limitations, necessity of medical care, permanency and return to work. Particular attention will be placed on delivering truthful, credible, and persuasive testimony.
Participants will also learn how to cost-effectively market their practice and draft a superior report. The highly-qualified faculty consists of a distinguished workers’ compensation judge and a successful workers’ compensation attorney who is also a thought leader on expert witnessing.
7 hours of instruction + 82 page written manual
***30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE***
- Explain how to be far more persuasive to a workers’ compensation judge;
- Discuss the nuances and hidden pitfalls of serving as a medical expert in workers’ compensation cases;
- List techniques to form more defensible opinions on key workers’ compensation issues such as causation, impairment, medical necessity, IMEs, and disability;
- Explain how to write more persuasive and defensible expert witness reports in workers’ compensation cases;
- Effectively deal with legal terms of art which are specific to comp cases and can often trip up experts (e.g. "major contributing cause", "aggravation", "MMI", etc.); and
- List numerous techniques to cost effectively market your expert witness practice to workers’ compensation attorneys.
OVERVIEW OF TOPICS
Workers' Compensation Overview - A quick overview of the workers’ compensation system will be provided including the issues of causation, compensability, impairment, medical treatment, permanency and return to work. Also included will be an explanation of the administrative nature of comp cases and how comp cases differ from tort cases litigated in court.
What Judges Use to Determine the Credibility of Medical Experts and their Testimony - Participants will be provided with the criteria used by workers’ compensation judges/commissioners in determining the credibility, weight, and persuasiveness of expert medical testimony. Faculty will discuss reputation, demeanor, grasp of the history and work duties, mechanism of injury, scientific basis, use of medical literature, the medical report as well as important intangible factors.
Causation: Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying - The faculty will review the various causation thresholds and provide best practices for obtaining an accurate understanding of the facts, mechanism of injury/illness, prior medical history, pre-existing and comorbid conditions, and testifying effectively on the issue of causation.
Impairment: Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying - Opinions regarding permanent impairment are full of hidden pitfalls such as using the correct guidelines, conditions not covered in guidelines, deviating from the guidelines, and apportioning prior impairments. You will learn how to form more defensible impairment opinions and defend these while testifying.
Disability and Work Restrictions: Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying - The benefits available to a workers’ compensation claimant partially depend on the claimant’s ability to work. Attendees will learn how to form more defensible opinions in this area and defend these while testifying and will be provided practical advice for dealing with issues such as FCEs, vague job descriptions, light work, work attempts, medical restrictions and limitations, and suitability of employment.
Independent Medical Evaluations: Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying - Participants will learn how to form more defensible opinions from IMEs and defend these while testifying and will be provided practical advice for dealing with issues such as the length of the examination, surveillance, subjective findings, symptom magnification, malingering, bias, cherry picking, and treating v. IME physician issues.
Medical Necessity: Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying - What is and is not reasonable and necessary may be the subject of expert testimony. Participants will learn how to form more defensible opinions on medical necessity and defend these while testifying and will be provided practical advice for dealing with issues such as treatment outside of your specialty, commenting on suspected overtreatment, utilization review and treatment guidelines.
Writing the Excellent Expert Witness Report in Workers' Compensation Cases - Participants will learn best practices for writing reports in workers’ compensation cases including: formatting, review and analysis of medical and ancillary records, history taking and documenting the physical examination. Faculty will offer suggestions for experts to express more defensible opinions on causation, impairment, disability, necessity for medical care, devices and medication, rehabilitation and medical care.
Marketing Your Medical Expert Workers' Compensation Practice - Faculty will discuss what lawyers are specifically looking for in medical experts. Participants will be provided with numerous techniques for marketing their workers’ compensation medical expert practice including advertising, speaking, writing, blogging, websites and outreach to potential lawyers and insurance companies.
- Chapter 1: Workers' Compensation Overview (59:11)
- Chapter 2: What Judges Use to Determine the Credibility of Medical Experts in Workers' Compensation Cases (107:14)
- Chapter 3: Causation - Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying (81:56)
- Chapter 4: Impairment - Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying (21:38)
- Chapter 5: Disability and Work Restrictions - Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying (64:11)
- Chapter 6: Independent Medical Evaluations - Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying (32:07)
- Chapter 7: Medical Necessity - Forming Defensible Opinions and Defending These While Testifying (19:54)
- Chapter 8: Writing the Excellent Expert Witness Report in Workers' Compensation Cases (18:46)
- Chapter 9: Marketing Your Medical Expert Workers' Compensation Practice (10:14)
“Excellent presentation and interactive.”
“Great examples in what not to say and say while testifying.”
“[Learned] from the judge what she sees from (my) report.”
“Great job by both Judge Tate and Steve B.”
Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the President of SEAK, Inc. – The Expert Witness Training Company. He was a workers’ compensation trial attorney for twenty years and is the former managing partner of the firm Kistin, Babitsky, Latimer & Beitman. Steve is the founder of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, the co-founder of the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners, and the creator of the AMA Guides Newsletter. Mr. Babitsky is the co-author of the texts Writing and Defending Your IME Report: The Comprehensive Guide, and How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness. Steve can be reached at 508-548-9443 or [email protected].
The Honorable Kirsten Tate is a workers’ compensation judge, office of administrative hearings in St. Paul, Minnesota. Judge Tate was a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney for 10 years before assuming the bench. She received her BA and JD from Hamline University and Hamline Law School. Judge Tate teaches continuing education courses on workers’ compensation and mentors at risk teens at the Minnesota Teen Challenge Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program.
Clips from How to Excel as an Expert Witness in Workers's Compensation Cases
How a claimant's activities of daily living while out of work can influence the judge.
How a judge evaluates credibility in a workers' compensation case.