At some point during your Workers’ Compensation claim the insurance carrier will send you for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) so that one of their doctors can examine you and give an opinion on your level disability. These doctors are paid by the insurance carrier, so there is not much that is independent about them after all. However, the law provides that insurance carriers are allowed to send you to one of their doctors and the insurance carrier may ultimately seek to reduce your benefits based on their doctor’s opinion.
Notify Your Attorney
Upon receiving notice of the “independent” medical examination, you should immediately contact your attorney and inform them. An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney should be able to recognize the IME doctor and determine whether they are credible or a hack doctor that will find you have no disability in order for the insurance carrier to reduce your benefits – or completely stop your benefits. The IME should take place at a location convenient for you, and transportation can be provided by the insurance carrier with proper notice.
How to Prepare for Your Independent Medical Exam (“IME”)
We recommend bringing a friend, family member, or spouse along to the appointment to videotape the examination. By videotaping the examination, the doctor may be a little more honest and thorough in his/her examination. The videotape can be used as evidence to discredit any inconsistency between the report and the actual examination. Do not bring a cane, neck brace, or medical assistance device unless one is medically necessary and you use it on a daily basis. It is important to be honest and detailed during your examination, which will help your attorney when they conduct a deposition of the doctor and try to discredit his opinion.
Not every IME doctor is a shill for the insurance carrier, but odds are that they will be more unfavorable than favorable to your case. By taking the steps highlighted above, you protect your claim and ensure that your attorney will have the necessary firepower to discredit a doctor whose opinion is inconsistent with your disability.
Contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C.
Having competent legal help during your Workers’ Compensation claim is a necessary step for ensuring that you are not taken advantage of, but receive all of the compensation that you deserve for your work-related injury. To set up a consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us online or call us today at 1-877-737-4806. We will fight for you!