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Occupational Therapy Expert Witnesses

Experienced healthcare professionals for America’s premier attorneys

Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping people of all ages with physical, mental, or developmental challenges to participate in everyday activities, or "occupations," that are important to them. An occupational therapist helps clients improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities and compensate for permanent loss of function to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapy is common in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Developmental disability
  • Mental health disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Burns
  • Spina bifida
  • Amputation
  • Multiple sclerosis

In the United States, occupational therapists typically must earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited program. They must also pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination to become a registered occupational therapist (OTR).

Occupational therapy is distinct from physical therapy, which focuses on pain, strength, endurance, range of motion, and gross motor skills. In contrast, occupational therapy focuses primarily on fine motor skills, visual-perceptual skills, cognitive skills, and sensory processing problems.

The role of an occupational therapist as an expert witness

Occupational therapists are valuable expert witnesses in a variety of injury and disability cases. An occupational therapist can evaluate the plaintiff’s functional abilities and limitations and offer their professional opinion on how their injury or illness affects daily life activities, work, and leisure activities. Occupational therapists can explain the types of treatment, rehabilitation, and assistive technology that may be needed to maximize the injured person’s quality of life. These can be critical factors in calculating damages.

An experienced occupational therapist is also well-positioned to contribute to the non-economic portion of an injury claim. They can offer a unique perspective on the functional impact of an injury and its effects on the injured person’s quality and enjoyment of life.

The insight attorneys need from start to finish

For decades, the team at Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been assisting some of America’s finest attorneys in high-stakes injury and disability cases. Our network includes highly qualified occupational therapists available for consultation and deposition or trial testimony. Contact us today for your free case summary review.

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