Independent Medical Examination Requirements
If you suffered a workplace injury, it is possible that your employer or their insurance company has scheduled an independent medical exam (IME) for you to attend. If this is the case, there are some things for you to know. Before attending, protect your rights and find out what your options are by contacting a workers’ compensation attorney.
At Meshbesher Law Firm, our lawyers have over 50 years of collective experience handling workers’ compensation claims. We can guide you through the examination process and help you secure or retain the benefits you need.
The insurance company pays the doctor performing the exam. This means that the insurance company and the employer are looking for reasons to discontinue your workers’ compensation benefits in whole or part. Yes, doctors should be objective, but that is not always the case. The opinions issued by these doctors hardly ever work out in the injured worker’s favor.
There is also no doctor-patient relationship established, which means nothing is confidential. The doctor also does not prescribe or recommend any kind of treatment for the injury. This would mean they would be referring you for additional medical treatment, which is not what they want. The sole purpose of this exam is for the employer and the insurance company to receive an expert opinion regarding the nature, cause and extent of the injuries.
Furthermore, you can expect to have to appear at the exam 20 minutes in advance to give a personal medical history, discuss the injuries and symptoms and provide any other relevant information. You should note the length of the exam and how it was conducted, such as where the doctor touched you, if the doctor made you lift your legs, touch your toes or rotate the injury area.
The Doctor’s Opinion
The doctor’s opinion is going to have an impact on your benefits. Their findings or recommendations can result in discontinued benefits and denied payments for related bills.
A doctor may state that your injury was not work-related, giving the insurance company a reason to discontinue benefits. The doctor may also find that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means you won’t get any better than you are now and temporary benefits can be discontinued. If the doctor states that the treatment you received in the past was not necessary, the insurance company may try to deny payment of your medical bills.
Let Us Help You Through The Exam
It can be very difficult to not be upset with the results of an IME, but don’t lose hope. We can help you challenge the opinion of the doctor. This can include obtaining a report from the physician who has been treating you and much more.
If you have received a request from your employer or their insurance company to have an IME performed, you need a knowledgeable attorney by your side. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and required duties. Email us or call 612-349-5215.