Getting Ready For Your Independent Medical Examination
Hurt workers receiving workers' compensation insurance benefits may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination (IME). The IME is an exam like no other and workers would be doing themselves a favor to understand what the exam signals and how to handle it. Read on to find out more.
Why the IME Request?
The workers' comp insurer handling claims of hurt workers expects most claimants to return to their jobs as their condition improves. The insurer will stop all benefits, such as temporary disability wages, when that happens. To ascertain where a worker might be in their recovery, they may order the IME.
Getting Ready for the IME
Follow the below tips so that your exam doesn't result in an unfair ruling after the results are submitted.
- Gather your claim paperwork and your medical treatment records so that you can review what has occurred since your injury. Review all correspondence between you and your employer along with that from the workers' compensation insurance company.
- You may want to make arrangements for someone to accompany you to the appointment. You are entitled to have someone with you, and it's handy to have someone who can take notes while you are examined.
- Be aware that you are being evaluated from the time you arrive till you leave. That includes the time spent in the parking area. If you use any mobility devices like a walker or cane, don't leave them behind in your vehicle. No matter how embarrassing a limp or other physical limitation might be, don't let yourself be recorded making moves you should not be making while approaching the office or in the waiting room.
- The IME doctor, who you may never have come in contact with previously, will ask you about the way the accident or illness happened, so be ready to talk about your condition. Be accurate but don't exaggerate your symptoms to gain additional benefits.
- When describing your condition, it's best to use factual language and correct medical terms when possible. That doesn't mean you should hold back on explaining how the condition is affecting you on a day-to-day basis. Let the doctor know how and when you are in pain and the level of discomfort you are experiencing. Be as precise as possible. For example, instead of saying that your leg hurts a lot all the time, say that you feel sharp or throbbing pains when you try to put weight on the leg. If you are unable to sleep due to pain, let the doctor know. If medication side effects are causing you problems, tell the doctor.
- After the results are in, you may not agree with the findings. You may able to appeal the ruling, but you should speak to a workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you get the benefits and compensation you need and deserve as a result of your work-related accident or illness.
If you need legal help, contact a law firm near you.
18 September 2020