If you suffer an injury while on the job, you likely already know that your workers’ compensation insurance is going to cover the medical treatment you need. However, in situations where the insurance company believes that the medical treatment you are receiving has lasted too long, or if it goes beyond the scope of the injury caused while you are at work, then you may have to undergo what is called the IME or Independent Medical Examination. In some cases, the insurance company may require that you have an IME prior to any workers’ benefits being paid at all.
What is an IME for a Workers’ Compensation Case?
The IME is an exam that is conducted by a physician that is selected by the workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance provider has the legal ability and right to request that you have this exam done. If you don’t fail with the request from the insurance company to undergo this IME, then your benefits may be terminated immediately. In most cases, however, you won’t have to travel too far to have the IME done.
What to Do When a Workers’ Compensation Provider Requests an IME?
If it is requested that you undergo an IME, then it is a good idea to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, who understands the process, system and who is familiar with the physicians that insurance companies use. Finding the right attorney will go a long way in making sure that you have the best results from the process. Keep in mind, if you don’t take action and seek legal protection, you may not be aware if your rights are being violated in any way.
The Reasons Behind an IME for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are like other people, you may wonder why the insurance company has the right to require that you undergo the IME with a doctor who doesn’t have any personal knowledge of the injuries you have suffered.
The fact is, the IME is a tool that workers’ compensation insurance companies use in an effort to investigate liability while determining the issues here:
- If you really sustained an injury?
- If your injury is as serious as you have claimed?
- If the injury you have is consistent with the incident in the workplace, or if it is possible that you suffered the injury due to different circumstances, such as outside of the work place.
While you may think that this is unfair, the goal is for the workers’ compensation insurance provider to pay as little as possible for each claim, which means that the IME is both reasonable and considered fair.
If you are in a situation where your workers’ compensation injury is being questioned, in any way, then it is a good idea to seek the assistance of an attorney. They can review the facts of your case to help ensure your rights are protected and that you are able to continue receiving the benefits you are due.
If you need help with a workers’ compensation case or an IME, contact our team of lawyers at Sternberg & Associates by calling 561-687-5660.