Workers’ Compensation Expert Witnesses
A significant portion of the Workers’ Compensation litigation is now the cross-examination of the Workers’ Compensation AMA Guides expert witness. The Workers’ Compensation Expert is almost exclusively a physician testifying about the presence or lack of permanent impairment in the claimant/injured worker. The Workers’ Compensation expert witness testifying from the 6th Edition of the AMA Guides is vulnerable to cross-examination in numerous areas including:
* Failure to read and understand Chapters 1& 2 and the glossary
* The ambiguities in the Guides of cultural differences and how they are properly handled
* How to properly rate unlisted diagnosis by the use of analogy
* Understanding the numerous and confusing definitions in the guides
* Inconsistencies between the various chapters
* Failure to consider the errata sheets and corrections and reprints of the Guides
* Following the Chapter-specific instructions
* The apportionment nightmares etc.
The Workers’ Compensation Expert Witness due to the complexity of the AMA Guides and the sophistication of many of the Workers’ Compensation attorneys who will be cross-examining them are well advised to obtain training in the correct use and interpretation of the Guides prior to testifying in these cases. The Workers’ Compensation expert witnesses who fail to obtain the training and mastery of the Guides do so at their peril.
Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the president of SEAK, Inc. and the co-author of the text UNDERSTANDING THE AMA GUIDES IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASES.