As an employee, getting injured on the job can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to deal with the physical and emotional effects of your injury, but you may also face legal complications related to workers’ compensation. One such complication is the independent medical examination (IME), which your employer has the right to request after a workplace injury.
An experienced Louisiana workers compensation lawyer will give you tips on how to prepare for an IME so that you can feel confident and in control during this process. Remember that you can always rely on your legal counsel for specific advice related to the circumstances of your case.
Your Employer Has the Right to Seek a Second Medical Opinion on Your Workplace Injury
After a workplace injury, your employer has the legal right to seek a second medical opinion through an independent medical examination (IME). This means that they can ask you to see a doctor of their choosing to assess your injury and determine if it is indeed work-related. While this may seem intimidating, it’s important to remember that IMEs are standard practice in workers’ compensation cases.
One reason why employers might request an IME is because they want confirmation that your injury was caused by work-related activities. They may also be looking for evidence that suggests your injury isn’t as severe as you claim it to be. Additionally, some employers may use IMEs as a way to contest workers’ compensation claims and avoid paying out benefits.
Regardless of why your employer wants you to undergo an IME, it’s important to prepare yourself accordingly. By reviewing all relevant information prior and bringing along any necessary witnesses or documents, you can ensure that the exam goes smoothly and fairly.
Review All the Information in Your Workplace Accident Report
Before attending the Independent Medical Examination (IME), it’s essential to review all the information in your workplace accident report. The workplace accident report will help you understand how your employer and their insurance company view your injury.
You must make sure that you have a correct timeline of how the accident happened. If you contradict yourself, the doctor will include that aspect in their report and it will raise doubts.
It’s also vital that you thoroughly review any medical records related to your injury included in the report. Make sure they accurately reflect both immediate treatment received after the incident and ongoing care needed as a result of long-term injuries.
Review Your Medical History
Before attending your Independent Medical Examination (IME), it’s crucial to review your medical history. This can include any previous injuries, illnesses or medical conditions that may have an impact on the current workplace injury being evaluated.
Additionally, reviewing your medical history can help prepare you for potential questions from the IME doctor. They may ask about:
- past treatments
- medications you take for specific conditions
- family history of medical conditions.
It’s important not to withhold any information from the IME doctor as this could negatively impact your case. You are dealing with an experienced healthcare professional, who can and will discover any pre-existing injury or condition.
Bring a Friend with You to Serve as a Witness
When attending an Independent Medical Examination (IME), it’s always a good idea to bring someone with you. This could be a family member, friend, or even your attorney. Having someone else present during the examination can serve as a witness and protect you from any potential misunderstandings that may arise.
Not only will having a witness help ensure that everything is accurately documented, but they can also provide emotional support throughout the process. They can help keep you calm and focused on what needs to be done.
It’s important to choose someone who is reliable and trustworthy. Make sure they understand why their presence is necessary and inform them of what will happen during the examination.
Be Polite and Cooperate with the IME Doctor
When it comes to attending an independent medical examination (IME) for a workers’ compensation case, it is important to remember that the doctor conducting the exam has been chosen by your employer or their insurance company. This means that they may not be on your side and could potentially use any information you provide against you.
However, this does not mean that you should be combative or uncooperative during the IME. In fact, being polite and cooperative can actually help strengthen your case in some ways.
Firstly, if you are rude or aggressive towards the IME doctor, it could give them a negative impression of you as a person. This could potentially impact how they view your injury and ultimately affect their findings in their report.
On the other hand, being friendly and respectful towards the doctor can make them more likely to believe what you say about your injury and overall condition. It also shows that you are taking this process seriously and willing to work with all parties involved.
It’s important to keep in mind that while the IME doctor may not be on your side entirely, they are still bound by ethics rules and regulations regarding patient privacy and care. By cooperating with them during the exam, you can ensure that these rules are being followed properly.
Be Aware that You Are Being Watched from the Moment You Arrive
When you arrive at the Independent Medical Examination (IME) for your workers’ compensation case, it’s important to remember that you are being observed from the moment you step through the door. The IME doctor is looking for any signs of inconsistency between your reported symptoms and how you present yourself during the examination.
It’s essential to maintain a consistent demeanor throughout the exam to avoid giving any indication that may be misinterpreted by the IME doctor. Even small inconsistencies in your behavior or speech could affect the outcome of your case negatively.
To help ensure consistency and accuracy, it’s best to stick with the facts about your injury without exaggeration or minimizing its effects on your daily life. Remember, honesty is always crucial when dealing with an IME examination.
Request a Copy of the IME Doctor’s Report
By requesting a copy of the IME doctor’s report, you can ensure that all the information gathered during your examination is accurate and complete. This will allow your Louisiana workers compensation lawyer to understand the results of your exam and help you prepare for any future legal proceedings.
If you find any inconsistencies between the report and what happened during the Independent Medical Examination, point it out both to your lawyer and to your employer as soon as possible.
Let Your Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyer Assist You!
You are not alone during the process of filing a workers compensation claim. An experienced Louisiana workers compensation lawyer will guide you through the procedure and help you avoid pitfalls that may hurt your case.
Among others, your lawyer will help you prepare for the Independent Medical Examination and even be present with you there, if their schedule allows it.
However, the first thing to do is seek legal help as soon as possible after your workplace accident. We offer every new client a free case review, so call us to schedule yours by calling 504-420-2755!