Independent Medical Examinations in Georgia Workers Comp

When you start discussing your claim with an Atlanta workers comp lawyer, you will be told that you have to undergo an independent medical exam. This is a common procedure in Georgia workers’ compensation cases. And you cannot miss it if you want to obtain benefits.

Let us explain what role the independent medical examination plays in your claim and what to expect from it. For help with your workers comp claim, contact our law firm today.

What Is the Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

The IME is a second medical opinion requested by the insurance company that provides workers comp coverage to your employer. They have a list of approved doctors and they will direct you to one of them to give you a thorough check-up.

The independent medical examination doctor is not necessarily the same professional who will treat you during workers comp. However, the report they issue is essential in determining what types of benefits you get and for how long.

What Happens During the IME?

The IME doctor will look over the initial medical report prepared by the healthcare professional who treated you immediately after your workplace accident. They will also ask you about:

  • Your medical history
  • Any pre-existing conditions or injuries you have
  • Any treatments you are taking
  • Where you suffered the injury
  • What is the level of pain?

You must be honest and cooperative with the doctor. First of all, they are an experienced medical professional, who will find out if you are exaggerating pain or discomfort. Secondly, they will be able to identify any old injuries or medical conditions you have.

The IME Report Will Define Your Level of Disability

The independent medical examination report will recommend the course of action for your claim:

  • Receiving benefits and staying at home to recover during the treatment
  • Receiving partial benefits and being reassigned to a light-duty position while you recover
  • The potential to apply for permanent disability benefits.

Of course, if you find that the findings are unfair and that the doctor is downplaying your injuries, your Atlanta workers comp attorney will ask for another examination, performed by an independent healthcare professional.

the IME report will help determine your level of disability

Is the IME Doctor Working for the Insurance Company?

The answer here is yes and no. The doctor is paid for their services by the insurance company. But they also must respect the ethical code of their profession and treat each patient fairly.

Thus, the IME doctor may not say that you are fine if any other healthcare professional would note that you suffered a range of injuries and are in pain. However, you may expect the independent medical examination doctor to be less sympathetic to you than your own treating physician would be.

How Can You Prove That You Were Treated Unfairly by the IME Doctor?

It is always better to be prepared for any potential outcome of the independent medical examination. An attorney always recommends clients to follow these simple steps:

  • Bring a friend with you to the IME. They may not interfere with the examination, just observe what happens.
  • Write down everything that happened during the IME, including the doctor’s attitude towards you.
  • Ask the IME doctor to provide you with a copy of their report.

Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Atlanta Workers Comp Lawyer

You are not alone during the workers comp claim process. A skilled Atlanta workers comp lawyer will advise you at every step of the way, including before the independent medical examination. If you are not treated fairly, the attorney will step in and request another evaluation that truly indicates the injuries you suffered.

The first thing you need to do is call us at 470-518-5026 for a free case review as soon as possible after your workplace accident!