If you or a loved one is injured at work, it’s natural to want to see your own doctor for treatment. However, your employer’s work comp insurance company may ask you to also see another doctor for an ‘Independent Medical Examination’. This is important for your case, but you may not know why you need it. Let’s take a look.
You may have been with your primary care doctor for years. You know and trust this doctor, but the insurance company may view this as a problem. They may believe that your doctor would be biased towards you. So, they want you to be examined by an independent doctor who will, as they see it, report your injury more accurately.
Why do I need an IME?
Now that doesn’t mean that the insurance company think your doctor may lie. However, they may believe that your doctor may be unconsciously biased simply because of their long association with you. The insurance company also wants another doctor to confirm any major treatment, such as surgery or other expensive medical procedures, before they agree to pay for it.
What happens during the IME?
The IME doctor will review your complete medical history and any documentation about your injury from your doctor, and talk to you about your symptoms. If they conduct a physical exam, it’s likely to be fairly short. They will discuss their impressions of your injury in their letter. Anything you tell this doctor can be repeated.
If you’ve been injured at work, you need a doctor who can not only treat you but also get you the compensation you deserve.