If you have been injured at work and filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may be requested to undergo a medical examination by a doctor different from your regular treating physician. This is most commonly referred to as an independent medical examination (IME), and usually comes at the request of your employer’s insurance company.
An IME is done by a physician who will provide an expert opinion in regard to any disputes in your workers’ compensation case. The selected physician (usually picked by the insurance company) will examine you to determine whether your injury or condition is work-related, if any medical treatment is actually necessary, if a permanent disability exists, and when you will be able to return to work.
What to Do Before, During and After
Leading up to your IME you should take care of a few things. First, take the time to learn what the insurance company has told and asked the IME doctor. Ask to review any letter the claims adjuster for your case may have written to the IME doctor describing your injury, treatment you have already received and questions about your condition that may be in dispute.
Reviewing this letter before your exam gives you the opportunity to point out and correct any mistakes about the facts of your case. You can also make sure the questions are appropriate.
As far as the exam itself, you should arrive early and dress appropriately. Be polite and respectful, and be honest in regard to your symptoms and limitations. Take the time to distinguish this new injury from your previous ones.
The IME doctor will follow up with a report that will be given to you and your attorney. You must take the time to read it carefully and point out any factual mistakes about your medical history and/or treatment. As always, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will go a long way in making sure your claim does not get bounced.
Experienced NJ Attorneys Can Help You
An attorney might be able to request another IME with a different doctor in order to counter the first examiner’s opinion if it goes against your workplace injury. They also may be able to file objections or conduct a deposition to question the first examiner. Essentially, an attorney is paramount to making sure your rights are protected.
In New Jersey, the law firm of Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. will take care of you. They will work to make sure you have access to all of the medical and financial resources so you can recover from your injury.
What are you waiting for? Contact them today by filling out the online form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.