The Truth About Workers’ Compensation Doctors and Independent Medical Exams
Nervous about having an independent medical exam? You should be. Learn how insurance company doctors can make or break your workers’ compensation claim.
On This Page
- Can You Be Forced to Have an IME?
- IME Doctors Work for the Insurance Company
- What To Do Before, During and After an IME
- Be Careful of the Nurse Case Manager
- How to Protect Your Workers’ Comp Claim
- Workers’ Comp IME Questions & Answers
Navigating the workers’ compensation medical process can add even more discomfort to a painful work injury.
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding workers’ comp claims, but one rule is common to all:
Injured workers seeking benefits must be evaluated and diagnosed by workers’ compensation doctors approved by the employer’s insurance company.
For many injured workers, that means facing an Independant Medical Examination, or IME ordered by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Can You Be Forced to Have an Independent Medical Exam?
If you’re injured on the job and making a workers’ compensation claim, you must be medically evaluated and treated by doctors who are approved by your employer’s insurance company.
Virtually all state regulations permit you to be treated by your own doctor, but your claim is highly dependent on the medical opinion of the doctor from the insurance company’s approved list.
Several circumstances may cause the insurance company to request that you submit to an Independent Medical Examination (IME).
The insurance company calls it a request, but the hard truth is that if you refuse to undergo the IME, your claim will be flatly denied. Game over.
Remember that the workers’ comp insurance company will do whatever it takes to save money. That means limiting benefits and wage payouts to injured workers like you.
The fastest way for the insurance company to justify limiting your workers’ comp is to have medical “proof” that you’re ready to return to work.