In many situations, an employer and an employee will present conflicting testimony and evidence. For example, an employee’s treating physician might classify an employee’s injury as disabling and catastrophic. The employee will never to be able to work again. While a doctor for the employer, who has had the opportunity to examine the employee, might present a less severe diagnosis that will allow the employee to return to work. Both doctors are well respected in the community, but one is more liberal or conservative than the other. What happens in this situation?
As a general rule, in workers’ compensation claims, although all medical opinions must be considered, acceptance of an opinion is not required. The weight and credit to be given to expert testimony, such as a doctor, is a question for the fact-finder or judge. The Board of Workers’ Compensation may accept testimony of one doctor over another doctor. In the situation presented, the Board or administrative law judge will be in the best position to examine all of the evidence and determine the credibility and weight of the evidence. The Board or administrative law judge will decide which doctor’s medical testimony to accept.