How to Handle Your Workers’ Compensation Independent Medical Examination

why do I need a medical examination to collect workers compIf you were injured on the job and are now seeking workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical costs, you will have to get a professional and independent medical examination (IME). For most states this is a requirement and the physician’s opinion on the severity of your injury will be a crucial piece of evidence in your case and will be an important determinant regarding the amount you will receive. IMEs are not as simple as going to your doctor and asking for them to look over your injury and give an opinion. It is an in depth examination and analysis and need to be done by someone who can give an “expert opinion” on the matter. You want these reports to be accurate and make sure that they don’t miss anything or you could lose out on a larger settlement offer.

Steps to Take Before Your Independent Medical Exam

Being aware of your health and finding someone who specializes in your type of injuries is recommended for IMEs. There are also a wide variety of preparatory steps you can take to make the examination run more smoothly and accurately.

Some steps you can take before your IME Include:

  • Have a working knowledge of your medical history
  • Find out what the workers’ comp insurance provider has informed your doctor about and what they are asking the doctor to do specifically.
    If any treatment has been done for the work-related injury, have a full understanding of what the process was and why it was necessary and your progress
  • Be aware of your current symptoms
  • Review the work-related incident and know the details of how it caused your injury
  • Maintain credibility by avoiding wearing things that would worsen your injury or forgetting to wear medically recommended items to assist with injury treatment such as slings or crutches
  • Arrive early as missing appointments can result in suspended benefits
  • Bring a silent friend prepared who can be trusted in the exam room to watch the procedure and take notes for witness testimony should the doctor be negligent or be solely working based off of the insurance company’s agenda

How to Handle Things at Your Exam

Once you are actually at your designated appointment, there are further steps you can take to protect yourself and make sure the full extent of your injury is understood and fully analyzed. Naturally, be polite and respectful as you don’t want to make an enemy of someone providing crucial evidence to your case. Be clear and concise about all details involving your injury including the incident, your symptoms, and any treatments you have been receiving. Be honest about how much the injury is limiting you day to day. Finally, make sure to distinguish your injury from any previous medical conditions. If you aren’t clear on that, insurance company’s love to blame your current condition on past problems instead of the world-related incident so they don’t have to pay you anything. Protect yourself by preparing yourself.

Contact a Camden Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Begelman & Orlow, P.C. represent clients in Lindenwold, Cherry Hill, Haddon Township, Voorhees, and all across New Jersey. Call (856) 547-7400 or email us today to schedule a consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 411 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, and we also have an office in Conshohocken, PA.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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