Suffering an injury on the job can be devastating. You will likely miss time at work and might not be able to return depending on the severity of your injury. When you are injured on the job there’s plenty of resources at your disposal to help move your life forward, especially when it comes to recovering from said injuries. One such resource is the ability to file for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will only be a portion of your annual salary and won’t last forever, but they will still help you pay the bills and medical expenses you incur. One part of seeking these benefits is being medically evaluated, which is required by the insurance company for your employer.
Why is an Evaluation Needed?
It’s not uncommon for an evaluation to be ordered by the insurance company of your employer that would be paying the workers’ compensation benefits. The evaluation is technically known as an independent medical evaluation, or IME. The insurance company might order an IME because it disagrees with the diagnosis issued by your doctor or the treatment recommended by your doctor (surgery) and wants to obtain a second opinion before agreeing to pay workers’ compensation benefits for your injury.
How is the Doctor Chosen?
The doctor chosen for the IME will more than likely not be your physician. Why? It’s likely that the original diagnosis or treatment recommendation was made by your physician, which is why a different doctor will be chosen. For the most part, since the insurance company is requesting the IME it will also pick the doctor who will perform the evaluation.
It’s also possible for you to request an IME if you do not agree with the diagnosis or recommendation for treatment if you went to a doctor chosen by your employer. If this is allowable you will get to choose the doctor who will perform the IME, which means you will get to use your personal physician.
Questions Asked During an Evaluation
There will be a lot of questions thrown at you during the medical evaluation. These can include any of the following:
- Were your symptoms caused by an actual accident or other incident at your place of employment?
- Was your injury or illness correctly diagnosed?
- When do you think you can return to work, if you can return at all?
- Do you require added medical treatment or testing for the condition you have?
- Did you suffer permanent disability? If so, how serious is the disability?
It is within your rights to review any letter sent to the doctor performing the evaluation from the insurance company. This allows you to make corrections to any of the facts that are listed incorrectly and to ensure that the questions being asked are related to your individual case.
Schedule an Appointment with an Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury while at work it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Workers’ compensation injuries must be handled delicately so you do not lose your chance at receiving benefits. Contact the team of Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., Attorneys at Law, to schedule an appointment about your case.