If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you are likely spending a great deal of time at medical facilities undergoing treatments, having lab work done and filling medication prescriptions. However, your workers comp claim process may involve an entirely different type of medical examination, the Independent Medical Exam. Your workers' comp claim could be riding on the results of an IME, so read on for what you need to know about this type of exam.
What Triggers an IME?
The workers' comp insurance company will usually ask for an IME to learn more about your injury and how it may affect your ability to do your job. Sometimes, but not always, it could mean that some aspect of your claim is in question.
What Doctor Performs the IME?
The workers' comp insurance company, or your state's workers' comp board chooses the doctor for the IME, and you should be aware that this is not a "normal" doctor, but usually one who specializes in conducting workers' compensation exams. Since the insurance company is likely paying for the exam, you should treat this exam with special care since this doctor, while ethical, should not be considered to be on your side.
How Should I Handle the IME?
The relationship with most doctors you encounter are confidential, but the IME doctor will be reporting the results of the exam to the insurance company. This means that everything you say and do at the exam will be under scrutiny. Don't be hesitant to impress upon the doctor the effect that the work-related injury has had on your life, and how it continues to make your life difficult.
From the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot, to the moment you return to it may be under observance, so be very careful. Even your behavior in the waiting room could be under scrutiny. While it may seem sneaky to "spy" on you in this manner, the workers' comp insurance companies and their doctors experience a fair share of people who are seeking fraudulent compensation. This heightened level of scrutiny actually helps keep the worker's comp benefit available for workers who need it and affordable for their employers. Workers' comp fraud is estimated to cost $7.2 billion dollars a year.
The request to undergo an Independent Medical Examination could be a sign that your workers' comp claim is in jeopardy. Consult with a workers' comp attorney, like those at John J Bublewicz Attorney At Law, as soon as you suspect that your claim may be denied. Your attorney will help guide you through this stressful experience and help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.