When Will You Have to Undergo An Independent Medical Exam?


Posted by: Chris

Many people who have sustained on-the-job injuries are asked to attend independent medical exams (IME) as part of the workers’ compensation claim process. An IME is an examination conducted by a physician who is not treating your work-related injuries. The purpose of an IME is to obtain an expert opinion on your work-related injuries from an independent physician. When will you have to undergo an IME? Here’s what you should know:

Treatment Recommendations

Your employer’s insurance company may not agree with your doctor’s treatment recommendations. For example, the insurance company may not think that surgery is necessary even if it has been recommended by your treating physician. In this case, you may need to undergo an IME. During the IME, a physician will examine your condition to determine if surgery is truly the best treatment option available.  

Termination of Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Temporary total disability benefits typically terminate whenever an injured worker has been released from treatment, which means that the doctor has completed treatment on the work-related injuries. If you think additional treatment is necessary, you have the right to object to this termination of benefits. In this situation, an administrative law judge may ask you to attend an IME. The independent physician who conducts the IME will examine your condition to determine whether or not additional treatment is necessary. The outcome of this exam could impact your ability to continue to receive temporary total disability benefits.

Injury Disputes 

An IME can also be ordered when there is a dispute over your injuries. The insurance company may not think that your injuries actually exist or may question whether or not they are severe as the treating physician has reported. For example, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are not severe enough to impact your ability to work even though this is what was reported by the treating physician. You may be asked to attend an IME to settle disputes like these. 

The doctor who conducts the IME will not treat you, but he will conduct a thorough examination to identify and determine the severity of your injuries. The doctor will also determine how your injuries affect your ability to work during this IME. 

Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced lawyers have helped countless clients obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve after a workplace injury. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.