a man talking to his doctor

Navigating an Independent Medical Examination (IME)

If you've been injured on the job, it's likely that you'll be required to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) as part of the workers' compensation claims process. IMEs are used by insurance companies to evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine the level of compensation you're entitled to. However, the IME process can be confusing and intimidating for injured workers who are already dealing with the physical and emotional toll of their injuries.

Understand the Purpose of an IME

Before you go into an IME, it's important to understand what it is and why it's being conducted. An IME is an examination conducted by a doctor who has been selected by the insurance company. The purpose of the IME is to evaluate your injuries and determine whether they are work-related. The doctor will also assess the extent of your injuries and determine whether you've reached your maximum level of medical improvement (MMI).

Prepare for the Exam

Preparing for an IME is essential to ensure that you get an accurate assessment of your injuries. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Bring documentation: Bring your medical records, including any X-rays or other diagnostic tests that you've undergone. You should also bring a list of your medications and any treatments you've undergone.
  • Bring an advocate: You have the right to bring a family member or friend to the exam as an advocate. This person can provide moral support and help you remember important information.

During the Exam

During the IME, it's important to be calm and cooperative. Here are some tips:

  • Answer questions honestly: Don't exaggerate your injuries or try to downplay them. Provide honest answers to any questions the doctor asks you.
  • Don't be intimidated: The doctor may ask some tough questions. Don't let this intimidate you. Stay calm and focus on providing accurate information.
  • Be aware of the doctor's bias: Remember that the doctor is being paid by the insurance company. This means they may be biased toward minimizing the extent of your injuries. Be aware of this bias, but don't assume that the doctor is being unfair. Stay objective and provide truthful answers.

After the Exam

Once the IME is over, you may be asked to provide additional information or undergo further tests. Here's what you can expect:

  • Wait for the report: The doctor will prepare a report that will be sent to the insurance company. This report will detail the extent of your injuries, whether they're work-related and whether you've reached your MMI.
  • Be prepared for a fight: If the doctor's report goes against your claims, you may need to fight for your rights. Consult an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation claims to ensure that you get a fair settlement.

An IME can be a daunting experience, but with the right preparation, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly. Remember to be honest, bring documentation and an advocate, and stay calm and objective during the exam. If you're unsure about any aspect of the IME process, consult an attorney at Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. who can provide guidance and help you fight for your rights.

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