Preparing For Your Workers' Comp Independent Medical Examination

Posted on: 11 August 2015


As part of the workers' compensation process, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination (IME). The insurance company that handles your claim for your employer will contact you after you have been under a doctor's care for some length of time with this request. If you expect to continue to receive workers' comp benefits, you must comply with this request, and how well-prepared you are for this exam could play a key role in the determination of benefits. Read on to get tips on preparing for your independent medical exam.

What is the purpose of the independent medical exam?

The main objective of this exam will be to collect information about how your treatment is progressing. Sometimes, the insurance adjuster may have reason to suspect that your injuries are not as severe as you are alleging. Additionally, there may be some question about whether or not your injury is actually work-related.

After your exam, the IME doctor will prepare a report for the workers' comp insurance company, (or, in some cases, your state's workers' comp board). This report will provide details on the severity of your injuries and include recommendations about work restrictions. Be aware that your own workers' comp attorney may also schedule for an exam with a different doctor, especially if the IME results are in question.

Tips on preparing for the independent medical examination.

1.  Refresh your recollections of the day of the accident by going over your notes, journal entries, accident reports and any other documentation available. Be very certain that you are using the same wording each time you relate information about the incident, since variations in facts can cause you to appear dishonest.

2.  Look over all of your medical treatments and tests up to this point. Many times this includes an impressive amount of information, so don't be embarrassed to take the information with you into the exam room.

3.  Make sure to tell the IME doctor about any past non-job-related injuries or illnesses that could have worsened due to the accident. Being honest about past medical issues is vital, since the workers' comp insurance company likely already knows about the issues anyway.

4.  Make a summary of your current medical condition. Include lists of your current medications and therapies. List all pain and discomfort, mobility problems, sleeping and eating problems, and how your day-to-day life as been affected by the accident. Be sure to include the emotional effects you and your family are suffering due to the accident or work-related illness.

An attorney, like David Ewens, will work with you to get this IME completed in a successful manner. These tips will help ensure that you get the workers' compensation benefits that you deserve.