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What is an Independent Medical Exam and Do I Have to Agree?

Workers’ compensation claims are one of the most complex areas of law. Insurance companies are often trying to provide as little payment as necessary when they pay workers’ compensation claims. Insurance adjusters may utilize various tactics as they decide to deny or end your benefits. One of the things they may do is request an independent medical exam. If you receive an independent medical exam notice, IME, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta. Your attorney will review your situation and answer any questions that you have.

Getting an Independent Medical Exam

independent medical exam for workers comp
An independent medical exam for your workers comp claim is required.

When you receive a request to get an IME you will need to visit the doctor. An IME means that the insurance company will send you to a doctor of their choosing. While these doctors are supposed to be objective, some may be known as being favorable to the insurance company. These biased doctors could make a determination that your injury is not serious, does not require further treatment or that it is not work-related. The findings could result in a redetermination of your benefits or a claim denial. They could report that you are able to return to work under full duty.

Many times the names of these “cooperative” doctors are known to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. State Board judges are supposed to review cases thoroughly before they make a determination. They will be skeptical of IMEs that are done by questionable doctors. However, if you are denied or your benefits stop as a result of an IME you have the right to a hearing to challenge the findings.

Resolving Improper IME Results

You can and should challenge improper IME results with help from a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta. Your attorney will immediately begin to prepare for a hearing. You will likely need to visit another doctor who is deemed to be unbiased. Your lawyer will work to settle the matter before it goes to court. Questionable reports are common in workers’ compensation matters, so reports need to be reviewed quite methodically.

The IME needs to be reviewed to make sure that it was done properly. Many times the doctor will rush through an exam or will purposely include or exclude details that are important. During the exam you should be sure to note all of your injuries, pain and other problems and request that this information be included in the report. Of course, the report is entirely up to the doctor’s discretion.

If you receive an IME it is likely a signal that the insurance company is questioning your injuries and a cut-off may be coming. The sooner you talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer the better. If your benefits are denied or are ending, your attorney needs to take action as quickly as possible to ensure that you are properly covered. When you are injured at work, call Bader Law Firm, LLC. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are available to review your case, answer your questions and help you keep your benefits. Contact Bader Law Firm, LLC today for a free initial case evaluation.

Seth Bader is an Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.

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