An independent medical examination (IME) is a doctor’s exam performed at the request of the insurance company that is required to pay your benefits. The doctor examines your physical injuries to allow the insurance company to verify your illness or injury before agreeing to pay your workers’ comp benefits.
But I Have My Own Doctor
Insurance companies have the right to hire an independent doctor to examine you so they can be sure that you’re not misrepresenting your injuries. This exam can be harmful to your claim process in that these supposedly “independent” doctors are paid by the insurance provider. Whose side do you think they’re on?
The insurance company is going to be looking for any reason to deny your work comp claim; any inconsistencies in your story and movements you make that are not in line with your injury could lead to a claim denial.
Not attending the exam is out of the question because, if you fail to attend, the insurer can deny you benefits or slash or stop the benefits you’re already receiving.
Useful Tips for Handling a Workers’ Comp IME Appointment
It’s not fair that you have to attend an exam that’s potentially meant to work against you, but there is a way to get through it. Here are a few helpful tips on how to handle a workers’ comp IME appointment:
- Never lie to the doctor. Be honest about your injury because the insurance company is looking to catch you in a lie so your claim can be denied.
- Give the doctor an accurate accounting of your work requirements, including lifting, walking, bending, carrying, or how long you sit at the computer.
- Don’t talk about your case in the waiting room, elevators, or on the premises.
- Don’t run or leave the office quickly.
- Don’t discuss money or what you plan on doing with your benefit money with the doctor.
- If the doctor asks you about previous injuries, be honest but don’t volunteer information.
- Don’t discuss your settlement, any upcoming court hearings, or anything unrelated to your injury.
- Exaggerating your pain is not helpful. If you are hurting, be honest, but don’t wince or cry out if that is not a natural response to your injury.
Call a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Hopefully, you feel more comfortable now that you have a little more knowledge on how to handle a workers’ comp IME appointment. You don’t have to go through the workers’ compensation claims process alone, however.
With an experienced workers’ comp attorney on your side, you have a better chance of being awarded the benefits you need and deserve. Call a workers’ comp lawyer with Finkelstein, Meirowitz & Eidlisz, LLP at 212-385-9190 or use the contact form below to schedule a free consultation.