"With a physical therapist and
a direct testimony checklist form, you can get
better bodily injury damages testimony."
In bodily injury cases, a comprehensive 11 page form list of
direct testimony questions will guide you in seeing that important damages medical testimony
from the physical
therapist will be in evidence.
Our # MED3434 Checklist: Direct Exam
of Physical Therapist gives you: > tips and
background information, so you know the questions you want to ask the
physical therapist in your preparation of the witness for
deposition or trial, plus > your checklist
of questions to ask during his/her direct testimony at deposition or trial.
Therapists are a rich source of additional testimony available
to you. You just need to know what to ask during direct
down the rest of this web page for the text that summarizes
the present state-granted licensed authority of physical
therapists to diagnosis movement dysfunction,
and how you can use that testimony in your
bodily injury cases - plaintiff or defendant.
Physical therapists of the 21st century: medical experts for trial
By Leonard Bucklin©.
Lawyers for claimants
frequently overlook the help that a physical therapist (PT) can
provide, both to the bodily injured client in restoring function
and reducing pain, and also proving the sequalae of the injury.
Testimony about the therapy given is only part of what can used
by you. Testimony of loss of bodily function ability to do
employment tasks and daily living activities is also available -
from an expert that jurors can relate to easily.
Better yet, the records of a PT often has more documentation
(think trial exhibits to go into the jury room) of measurements
of functional loss. The PT's measurements of functional loss (or
lack of it) are often more objective, reliable, and thorough
than that of the attending medical doctor. A layer who can
produce an impressive set of objective measurements of the
movement abilities of claimant has an advantage with the
More: a PT’s records or testimony regarding the patient’s statements
of pain go a long way to inducing belief in the plaintiff’s
testimony as to how he/she hurt in the years before the trial
date. Remember Fed. R. Evid., Rule 803, and like state
rules allow the physical therapist to testify that the plaintiff
moaned and reported pain!
A statement of the declarant's then existing state of mind,
emotion, sensation, or physical condition (such as ... mental feeling, pain, and bodily health)
is admissible as not subject to the hearsay rule.] [Emphasis
Using the PT to give reports of the plaintiff's pain is more
effective with the trier of fact that using the plaintiff or the
family of the plaintiff.
Start to understand how a PT can help you (as a trial
lawyer) with testimony regarding present or future limited physical function, in settlements and trials, by reading the Bureau of Labor
Statistics description in its 2005 annual Occupational Outlook
Physical therapists.... examine patients’ medical histories
and then test and measure the patients’ strength, range of
motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance,
respiration, and motor function. They also determine patients’
ability to be independent and reintegrate into the community or
workplace after injury or illness.... [Emphasis supplied.]
Physical therapists are health care professionals who
treat medical problems that involve the abilities to move and perform functional activities in
daily life. Often, lawyers do not understand that PT’s
are medically trained to objectively describe the problems that limit movement and functional
activities, then “evaluate” the functional limitations on doing
work or daily activity. In short, they can say with
authority what the plaintiff cannot do in ordinary activities of
an occupation or the everyday movements of daily living.
Welcome to the 21st century of medicine! Today a new physical therapist cannot be licensed unless that
have a master's or doctor's degree from an accredited college.
(In all states, the accrediting organization does not accredit
schools that graduate physical therapists with only a bachelor's
degree.) The history of physical therapy as a profession
is illustrated by the
description given by the University of Minnesota.
“The Program in Physical Therapy at the University of
Minnesota began as a certificate program in 1941. It expanded to
a baccalaureate program in 1946, a master of science program in
1997 and a professional doctoral degree program in 2002. All
students entering the program and completing all requirements
graduate with a professional Doctoral Degree in Physical
The University of Southern California today describes their
“entry level” physical therapy program,
with the following words.
"The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at the
University of Southern California prepares graduates to be
autonomous practitioners, capable of evaluating and treating
patients without the need for referral from another
practitioner, but ready to work in collaboration with other
health professionals. The Doctor of Physical Therapy is the
authoritative practitioner in the diagnosis and treatment of
movement dysfunction. " [Emphasis supplied.]
Think about it. Respected universities that
have medical schools train PT’s to be “capable of evaluating and
treating patients without the need for referral from another
practitioner,” and to be the professional person who is the
“authoritative practitioner in the diagnosis and treatment of
movement dysfunction.” That means you as a lawyer have a rich
source of additional medical testimony available to you. Do not miss out
of using that personal injury testimony!
Lawyers frequently overlook physical therapists when the
issue is proving the damages suffered by a personal injury
claimant. Don't be one of those lawyers!
We deliver in PDF
format - as the last part of the purchase process. After you
complete your on-line purchase and your credit card is
verified, then your browser is automatically sent - right then - to a
new webpage with your link to click to download. Use
your form today!
Over the years, this question
checklist form will save you hours of trial prep time. -- a
real value for the time it saves you!
But that's not all. This
checklist form gives you valuable ideas and advice on how to
make the direct examination of your physical therapist
witness effective in blocking the other side's attempts
to counter your story of what the injury is (or is not
doing) in the life of the claimant.
You're a personal injury attorney. A checklist for their medical testimony
should be in your toolbox of forms. This checklist is based on the assumption that the plaintiff has received
physical injury, and you want to maximize (or minimize) the damages for plaintiff's present
and future problems (or lack of them).
This legal form was designed for plaintiff attorneys
in personal injury cases. Although many of the plaintiff-orientated questions in
the checklist will be omitted by a defense attorney doing a direct examination of
the defense PT, defense attorneys still find the checklist contains much they
can use. If
the defense has a physical therapist do a functional capacity evaluation, the
defense has to present his/her testimony, and this checklist gives
defense attorneys the format and questions they
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