If you are pursuing a workers compensation claim, you may need to have an Independent Medical Exam (IME). After a claim is made, the workers compensation insurance company has the right to have you examined by a doctor of their choosing. The doctor will perform the IME and testify about your injuries. The doctor will work to obtain information to let the insurance company understand your injuries and make decisions about continuing or stopping your benefits.
Your understanding of your IME can impact your workers compensation case. The experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Apter has provided some tips on how to prepare for your Independent Medical Exam below:
Be Aware of the Goal: Understand the IME doctor's role is not to treat you, but to decide whether you are entitled to workers compensation benefits.
Arrive Early: You should normally arrive at least 30 minutes early to complete any paperwork that is required of you. You do not want to make the doctor upset by being late or by prolonging the appointment.
Be Polite but Cautious: What you say and how you say it can impact your exam and the physician's testimony. At the same time, if the doctor introduces them self and asks how you are, and you say fine, in a social context, the doctor may write down that you deny having any pain.
Be Honest: In no way, shape or form should you lie to the doctor. Be honest and open about the accident and your injuries. You know the answers to the questions the doctor will ask, so don't hesitate to answer questions fully, but don't under or over exaggerate your complaints. The doctor may ask about:
- Medical history, including prior injuries
- Job, work and duties prior the injury
- Occurrence of injury
- Primary symptoms
- Things that aggravate your injuries
- Activities and things that have been affected by your injuries
Bring Someone Along: A companion can act as a witness that can help verify what was said during the Independent Medical Exam. The witness should never talk for you or your injury, but provide another set of ears and eyes. Tell the doctor that you will feel more comfortable with this person observing everything that goes on.
The Independent Medical Exam is authorized by law. If you have any questions or concerns about your IME or your workers compensation case, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Apter.