A Different Kind Of Workers' Comp Exam

Being injured while at work will undoubtedly bring you in close contact with many medical facilities and personnel, but in some instances you may be asked to undergo a different type of medical exam altogether, called the independent medical exam (IME). This exam and the results it brings are vitally important to your workers' comp claim and your ability to continue to get benefits, so read on to learn more about the IME.

Why must I undergo this exam?

The workers' comp insurance company, up to a certain point, allows workers who are injured to use the medical facilities and doctors of their own choosing. If your injury is not healing in a timely manner, however, they need to seek more detailed information about your injury.

Who performs the IME?

Usually the insurance company chooses and hires this doctor, but in some locations your state's workers' comp board handles that process. You should understand that the doctor that performs this exam "specializes" in conducting workers' comp exams, and they should never be considered a neutral third party, since they are being paid by the workers' comp insurance agency. This is no ordinary exam, and you should treat it with care.

What happens at this exam?

From the moment you leave your car in the parking lot until you return to it, you should be aware that you may be under surveillance. Everything you do and say at this exam will be reported to the insurance company; there is no confidentially, like you might expect from a regular doctor. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for this exam is of utmost importance:

1. Gather your documents and refresh your memory of the accident, your medical treatments, and the pain and suffering you have encountered as a result. Don't hesitate to bring your notes with you into the exam room and to refer to them as often as necessary. You want to ensure that your accounts are consistent and accurate.

2. While this experience will include a complete physical examination, you should not expect to receive any treatments or prescriptions for your injury. You can expect that the body part that is affecting your inability to return to work will be closely examined and manipulated, and that in some instances further diagnostic procedures will be ordered. For example, you may be asked for a blood and urine sample or you may be required to get an x-ray or other imaging procedure.

What happens next?

The doctor will report their findings to the insurance compan,y and you will be informed of the results. If you are being told to return to work and are still unable to do so, contact a workers' comp attorney immediately. For more information, check out websites like http://mcmullenochs.com.