I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
You have likely spent a great deal of time at medical facilities already dealing with your workers' comp claim. Treatments, lab tests, and medication needs can only add to your already stressful situation. You should be prepared, however, for a different type of medical exam. Your workers' comp insurance company may request that you undergo an Independent Medical Exam (IME) at some point in the workers' comp process. Your claim's outcome could depend upon the results of this exam, so read on for more information.
Why Must I Undergo this Exam?
This exam is often requested to gain more information about your medical condition, especially if your treatment has gone on for some time and you have still not returned to work. You may be dealing with a permanent disability, which is dealt with differently than a regular claim. The IME will also rule out those who are attempting to prolong their return to work without good cause or to defraud the insurance company.
Who Will Be Preforming the IME?
The workers' comp insurance agency is responsible for appointing and paying the doctor who performs the exam. You will often hear that doctors who perform these exams do little else and seem to "specialize" in this area. The doctor will receive a brief summary of your medical condition and you do have the right request a copy of this summary and make any corrections.
Be aware that this is no ordinary medical exam. You will not receive any treatment and everything you say, do and present to this doctor could have an impact on your ability to have a successful claim or settlement. Any expectation of the confidentiality that you expect with your other doctors should be discarded. Here are a few tips for dealing with this exam:
Protect your right to receive a fair claim for your workplace injury by contacting a workers' comp lawyer as soon as you receive IME notification.
For a workers' compensation attorney, contact a lawyer such as Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw.