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If you have been asked to appear at a workers' compensation independent medical examination (IME), being ready is vital. This exam can determine what happens next with your workers' compensation claim. There is much you can do to ensure that the results of the IME are agreeable. Find out more by reading below.
The Reason for the Exam: This exam is requested by the insurance company handling your injury claim. If you have been unable to return to work after an accident, the insurer will ask that you undergo a special exam focusing on your injuries, treatments, and current status. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate your injuries. However, this exam is also used to halt workers' compensation benefits by declaring the worker well enough to return to work.
The IME Doctor: The doctor assigned to perform your IME exam will be unknown to you. It won't be the same doctor who was previously treating your injury. The doctor is a licensed medical doctor who works under contract with the workers' compensation insurance company.
That means the doctor is not a neutral party and you must agree to have the results of your exam shared with the workers' comp insurer. You won't be prescribed any medication or provided with any medical advice at this exam. It's strictly an evaluation exam.
How to Prepare: Review your accident and medical treatment records so you can be ready to answer questions about your work injury and what has occurred since that time. You may bring your records into the exam room with you, and you may also bring along a person for support as an extra pair of eyes and ears. Spend some time thinking about the way the injury has affected your personal life and how you expect it would affect you if you were ordered to return to work.
How to Behave: This is not the time to hold back about the injury. If you are still in pain, say so. Be as detailed as possible with your descriptions of the pain, though. Describe when you feel pain the most, whether the pain is throbbing, stabbing, or intermittent, the exact location of the pain, and how it affects your everyday life. If you must rely on medication or hard medical goods (crutches, walkers, braces, etc.) to get around, say so.
If your IME resulted in a premature order to return to work, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer before doing anything else. You have rights and your lawyer will help you assert them.Share