If you have been using workers' comp for an injury, you may come to a point where you receive a request from the carrier about your claim. The independent medical exam (IME) is meant to allow the workers' comp carrier to learn more about your medical condition and to determine how likely you are to be able to return to your job. This is not your usual exam, and the results of it could affect your workers' comp benefits dramatically. Read on to learn more about the independent medical exam.
Why Must You Have This Exam?
If your injury is slow to heal or more serious, you may have exceeded the time allowed and caused a red flag to appear on your claim. The workers' comp insurance carriers have a good idea of how long injuries similar to yours take to get better, and they will want to take a closer look at your injury if time has passed and you still cannot work at your job. You must understand that being asked to undergo this exam could mean that the carrier is seeking to limit the amount of benefits you are collecting by deeming you able to return to work.
The IME Doctor
This is no ordinary exam, and it's performed by a special type of doctor. This doctor works for the workers' comp insurance carrier, and anything found at the exam or that you tell the doctor is not confidential. Many of these doctors "specialize" in doing these types of exams and are attuned to those who might malinger.
At the Exam
Your vitals will be taken as usual, and you will questioned about your injury. If you have a medical history and records, be sure to review them prior to the exam, and don't hesitate to take them into the exam room with you. You want to give accurate, but not exaggerated answers to the questions.
Don't expect to be treated by this doctor or to receive any prescriptions. You may be asked to undergo further diagnostic testing, however.
This is not the time to be shy about how your injury has affected your ability to not only work at your job, but your life in general. Pain and discomfort cannot always be measured by a test, and only you know what you have been through as a result of your work-related injury.
If you get asked to participate in an IME, you are strongly urged to seek help from a workers' comp attorney. Your right to continue to get benefits for a work-related injury is now in jeopardy, so take action and seek help. Contact a law firm like the Galanti Law Office to learn more.