Sustaining a work-related injury can be a frustrating experience. You may need to take time off work and seek medical treatment, all while worrying about how you’ll cover your bills without your regular income. Workers’ compensation is designed to help alleviate some of that stress by providing financial assistance for medical expenses and lost wages.
However, there’s one critical step in the process that workers often forget: the independent medical evaluation (IME). We’ll go over what an IME entails and provide tips on how to prepare for it properly. Plus, we’ll let you know why having an experienced Buford workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can make all the difference!
What Is an Independent Medical Evaluation?
If you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim, your employer may request that you undergo an independent medical evaluation (IME). This is an exam performed by a doctor who isn’t treating your work injury. You may choose from a list of approved doctors provided by the insurance company or your employer.
The purpose of this examination is to help resolve questions related to your workers’ comp claim, such as when you’ll be ready to return to work or if a particular treatment is necessary. An IME is often used when an insurance company and your treating doctor disagree about your treatment or the severity of your condition.
Many people worry that the IME will jeopardize their chances of receiving fair compensation for their injuries. It’s true that insurance companies often request an independent medical exam with the goal of denying a treatment as unnecessary.
However, with proper preparation and guidance from a Buford workers’ compensation lawyer, you can approach this exam with confidence.
Missing the IME Appointment Will Get Your Claim Denied
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with workers’ compensation claims is that missing your independent medical evaluation (IME) appointment could result in your claim being denied. This is an evaluation requested by your employer’s insurance company to assess the validity and extent of your injuries.
To avoid such situations, make sure always to confirm appointments beforehand, keep track of dates and times set aside for evaluations, and show up on time for all scheduled examinations. If something unavoidable happens like an illness or family emergency, call ahead immediately and reschedule promptly.
Being present at every IME helps establish credibility with physicians who evaluate eligibility for benefits while maintaining good faith throughout negotiations between parties involved in resolving disputes over medical treatment expenses incurred from workplace accidents.
Bring a Friend to Witness the Appointment
When you’re scheduled for an independent medical evaluation (IME), it’s a good idea to bring along a friend or family member as your witness. This person can help support your case and provide an objective account of the appointment.
Your chosen companion should be someone who knows you well but is also able to remain impartial during the exam. They should be prepared to take notes on what happens during the appointment, including any questions asked by the IME doctor and how you respond.
Having a witness present can also help if there are any disputes later on regarding what happened during the IME. If there are conflicting reports about what was said or done, having another person there as backup can make all the difference in proving your case.
Remember that while it’s important to have someone with you at the appointment, they shouldn’t interfere with or influence any part of the examination process. They should simply observe and document everything that takes place.
Be Cooperative and Polite With the IME Doctor
Being rude or uncooperative with the IME doctor will not benefit you in any way. In fact, it could potentially harm your claim if they decide to report negative behavior or attitudes towards them in their evaluation report.
Try to answer all of their questions honestly and accurately without exaggerating or minimizing any of your symptoms. By providing clear and concise answers, you can help ensure that the doctor has accurate information about your injury on which they can base their evaluation.
Additionally, if you have any concerns during the exam, be sure to express them politely and respectfully instead of becoming defensive or argumentative.
Make Sure to Request a Copy of the Independent Medical Examination Report
After the appointment, remember that the IME report will be a key factor in determining the outcome of your case. For this reason, it’s important to request a copy of the examination report from the doctor who conducted the evaluation.
Having access to this report is essential because it allows you and your Buford workers’ compensation lawyer to review all details concerning your injuries and medical condition. This information can help strengthen your case or even point out any errors made by the doctor during their evaluation.
In addition, requesting a copy of the IME report also helps ensure transparency throughout the entire process. By having a clear view of what was discussed and analyzed during the examination, you can better understand how certain decisions were made regarding your claim.
It’s important to note that there may be some situations where obtaining a copy of an IME report may not be possible due to certain legal restrictions or confidentiality agreements between the parties involved. However, in most cases, requesting one should not present any issues.
Let an Experienced Buford Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Guide You Through the Process!
Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be complicated, especially when it comes to independent medical evaluations. By following these tips, you can prepare yourself for a successful IME appointment and ensure that your claim is not denied due to missed appointments or uncooperative behavior.
However, if you still have concerns about the IME process or face any issues related to workers’ compensation claims, our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers can help guide you through every step of the process.
Reach out to us today at 470-518-5026 !