If you are collecting benefits from workers' comp as a result of an on-the-job injury, you will likely be asked to undergo an Independent Medical Exam (IME) at some point in the process. The insurance company that handles claims for your employer can require you to submit to this exam, especially if you aren't recovering from your injury in a timely manner. Since your ability to continue to collect benefits, such as lost wages and medical expenses, depends on complying with this request, you must be prepared for this exam. Read on for some vital information and tips to help you be ready for the IME.
Why am I being asked to undergo this exam?
If your injuries seem to be taking longer to heal than usual, as determined by the insurance adjuster, an IME will be ordered to determine how much longer you will need workers' comp benefits and, most importantly, the possibility that you may have suffered a permanent injury and will never be able to return to work.
Be prepared for your IME with these tips:
1. If you have been keeping a journal of the events surrounding your accident, it will be useful now in refreshing your memory for your exam. It's vital that you use the same description of the accident each time you relate the story; inaccuracies can create doubt and confusion, and possibly affect the validity of your claim.
2. Review your medical records, treatments, and tests. If your treatment has been going on for some time, your medical information could be extensive. Organize it by date and don't hesitate to take it with you to the exam and to refer to it often; accuracy is important.
3. Non-job-related past injuries that were made worse by your accident are covered by workers' comp, so ensure that you be forthcoming about this issue. You should also be honest about any other previous medical issues, since the workers' comp insurance adjuster will likely already know about the issues and neglecting to mention them just makes you look dishonest.
4. Prepare a summary of your current state of health. Include your on-going symptoms, pain, mobility issues, and current medications and treatments. Don't neglect to include your emotional and mental health problems caused by your accident, such as anxiety, depression, sleeping, and eating problems, all of which affect your day-to-day life.
After the exam.
A report will be prepared which contains information about the severity of your medical condition and makes recommendations about your ability to return to work and any restrictions. An IME is am important step in the workers' comp process, so retaining an attorney to stand by your side during this exam could make the difference in proving your eligibility to continue to receive workers' comp benefits. Go to website for more information.