The Workers’ Compensation Commission may require some injured workers to undergo an independent medical exam as part of the application process. The outcome of this examination can affect whether or not you are approved for workers’ compensation benefits. For this reason, it’s important to prepare for the independent medical exam. Here’s what you should know:
What’s the Purpose of the Independent Medical Exam?
The purpose of the exam is to settle disputes related to your workers’ compensation claim. The physician who is performing the exam will be asked to determine if your injuries are truly work-related, if treatment is needed, when you are able to go back to work, and if you are permanently disabled. Basically, the commission uses this exam to verify the claims you have made in your application.
How to Prepare for the Exam
Before the exam, it’s important to review your medical history. The physician may ask questions about your medical history, so be prepared to explain how your current injuries are unrelated to injuries and conditions from the past.
Be sure to also review your treatment history before the appointment. Be ready to explain why your doctor recommended a specific treatment, when/if you received the treatment, and the outcome. This is especially important in cases where the commission is questioning whether or not a treatment is necessary.
If the commission is questioning whether your injury actually happened at work, they could instruct the doctor to ask you to explain exactly how the injury occurred. The doctor will listen closely to your explanation and look for inconsistencies in your story. Because of this, it’s a good idea to prepare how you plan on explaining the accident so you don’t make any mistakes.
Make sure you tell the doctor every symptom you are experiencing as a result of your injuries. It doesn’t matter how minor the symptom may seem--the doctor needs to know about it to accurately assess your condition. Writing a list of symptoms down prior to the appointment may make this easier.
If possible, ask a loved one to come with you to the appointment. Your loved one should not answer questions on your behalf, but he should take notes so you can remember exactly what happened during the examination.
If you are asked to undergo an independent medical exam, the attorneys from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. can help. Let our skilled attorneys prepare you for your examination so you do not make any mistakes that affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.