You were hurt in an accident on the job. The accident happened out of and during the course of your job for your employer. The accident resulted in you sustaining injuries that have brought about a large amount of medical expenses, and you are still not able to return to work.
Thankfully, your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. You reported your accident to your employer, and a workers’ compensation claim was made. Your claim was approved, but now your employer and/or his insurance company wants you to submit to having an independent medical examination (IME).
Does your employer have a right to ask you to do this? Do you have to submit to an independent medical examination? Will you lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you do not submit to an independent medical examination?
Your employer and/or his workers’ compensation insurance company does have a legal right to ask you to submit to an independent medical examination. Usually, the reason why you are asked to do this is to see if you really have an injury, and is the injury as bad as you say it is. Also, they are wanting to see if your injury was really from an accident that was job-related, or was it due to some other reason.
What the insurance company is doing
You have to remember. The insurance company is paying out money for your medical expenses and lost wages. They want to see if you are really injured and unable to work. Of course, they are hoping that the independent medical examination will show that there is nothing wrong with you, and they will be able to stop paying you benefits.
Although it varies from state to state, in many states, if you want to continue receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, you are required to submit to an IME.
In most instances, you should submit to an independent medical examination. If you are not faking an injury, and you are injured like you say you are, you should not have anything to worry about.
Do not fake an injury
While it is true in many instances that it is not truly an independent, neutral medical examination because it is the insurance company’s doctor that is doing it, you should tell the truth, and do not exaggerate or fake your injuries. Be clear on your injuries, and explain why they prevent you from doing your job duties.
In some cases, the doctor who performs an IME may be what you may think of as a “hired gun” for the insurance company who is going to say what the insurance company wants to hear, “no matter what”. You cannot stop an unethical person from doing this, but, in most instances, the doctor who does an independent medical examination is a legitimate doctor who will give his honest opinion on whether you are injured and need to be treated.
Being asked to submit to an independent medical examination is one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to have a workers’ compensation attorney representing you. A workers’ compensation attorney will see that all of your rights are protected and you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours.
- What if I Want to See Another Doctor (usworkerscomp.com)
- Injured in an Accident on the Job in Texas and Receiving Workers’ Compensation (usworkerscomp.com)
- Injured Because of a Fall at Work in California (usworkerscomp.com)
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