3 Things You Should Know Before A Workers Compensation Independent Medical Examination

Posted on: 23 February 2016

If you have been hurt at work and have filed a workers compensation claim, you might have been asked to see a different doctor for an independent medical examination. Basically, this involves going to a different doctor that you have never seen before to be examined. Before you go to your appointment, it is important to know and understand these three things.

1. You Shouldn't Skip It

After seeing your regular doctor plenty of times about your injury or spending a lot of time in the hospital, the last thing that you probably want to do is see more doctors. Plus, you might not like the idea of seeing a stranger when you already have an established relationship with your own physician. Even if you don't want to, however, you should make sure that you go in for your appointment. Insurance companies often like to get a second, neutral opinion -- in part, this is to help prevent fraud, which is surprisingly common in the workers compensation sphere. If you aren't willing to go in for your appointment, you could jeopardize your case.

2. There Are No Secrets

You probably count on your regular doctor to keep your conversations privileged, but when you go in for an independent medical examination, you might be asked to waive your patient-provider privilege. This is because the doctor will need to report to the insurance company and let them know what he or she discovered during your exam. Just remember that anything that you say might be reported back to the insurance company, so be careful about how you might be perceived.

3. You Can Challenge It

If things don't go your way during the appointment -- such as if the independent medical exam doctor says that you are not injured or otherwise disagrees with your own physician's findings -- you should know that your case isn't immediately destroyed. You can write a letter to the insurance company to let them know why you are challenging the findings of the exam. You can also often ask to have another independent medical exam done with another physician. Taking these steps is key in this situation if you want to avoid your claim being denied.

An independent medical examination does not have to be a bad thing and is really just a bump in the road when you file a workers compensation claim. However, it is important to know these three things if you want things to go as well as possible.