If you have been hurt on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This benefit can help hurt workers with medical bills and a partial salary until they can get back to work. In some cases, the injury is more serious, and the insurance carrier asks the hurt worker to undergo an independent medical examination (IME). Read on to find out more about this exam and what you can do when the results are far from fair or just.
What to Know About Independent Medical Exams
If you have been unable to go back to work, you may have an injury that needs more time to heal or is actually permanent. This can be a difficult situation to deal with, and the insurance carrier might be hesitant to expend more money for benefits. The IME is performed by a doctor on contract to the insurance carrier and is meant to give them more information about where you are in your healing. The exam will result in a report to the carrier and will suggest several options:
- Your injury is not yet healed enough for you to return to work. This might mean a few more weeks of benefits.
- Your injury is healed enough for you to return to work.
- Your injury is not going to ever heal enough for you to return to work. Permanent injuries mean you might be eligible for a lump-sum settlement for your injuries. You will need a workers' comp lawyer to help you negotiate for a good settlement.
When You Disagree With the Results
Particularly when the report is in direct conflict with the opinion of your regular doctor or the doctor treating your injury, you might need to challenge the opinion of the IME doctor. Your first step should be to speak to a workers' comp lawyer and take the following actions:
- Never return to a job when you are not physically ready. Doing so could not only result in greater injuries but could also invalidate your previous claim.
- Have another IME performed by a doctor of your own choosing.
- Request a copy of the report (you are entitled) and examine it for errors, omissions, and mistakes.
- Request a copy of your medical records concerning your worker's comp case.
- Formally request a reconsideration of the results of the IME.
- Appeal any denials, stoppages, or interruptions in coverage by requesting a hearing. Be sure to abide by the deadlines for requesting the appeal.
To learn more, contact a company like Midwest Injury Help today.