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Facts To Know About Your Workers' Comp IME

If you have been injured at work, your employer's workers' compensation insurer will be handling your benefits. In most cases, that means covering your medical expenses, partial disability wages, and sometimes, a lump sum payment. You might need to participate in an independent medical examination (IME) as well. Read on for some facts on the IME.

IME Facts to Understand

The request for an IME can come at any time but usually occurs when the workers' comp insurer needs to know when you could be going back to work. Three outcomes of the IME are possible:

  • You are ruled ready to go back to your job. That might be light-duty or part-time work.
  • You are ruled to be permanently injured. That means you are eligible for a monetary settlement.
  • It's determined that you should spend more time recuperating at home.

The IME consists of being examined by a workers' compensation doctor who you are likely unfamiliar with. This doctor is paid by the insurer. This doctor is not your usual doctor who you have been seeing for your injuries.

The doctor will examine you and question you about the accident, your treatment so far, and your current physical state. Diagnostic tests may be part of the exam. However, no treatment, medication prescriptions, or medical advice is provided at this exam.

Before your exam, speak to a worker's compensation lawyer about your case. They can assist you in preparing for the exam by going over your records with you and giving you an idea of what to expect. For example, workers' comp lawyers usually know what the doctor will ask you and can help you answer the questions in the best way possible.

Hurt workers are allowed to take someone with them into the exam room, so consider asking a friend or family member to come along. They can take notes, help you remember the answer to questions, and lend support. You are also allowed to bring notes and materials to the exam with you. Go through them and organize them so that you can answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.

After the exam, you will receive the findings in a few weeks. Speak to your workers' compenation lawyer if you don't agree with the results. You have a right to appeal the ruling and to have another exam performed using a doctor of your own choosing.

To find out more, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer.