Independent Medical Examinations
The employer/insurer is entitled to two expert independent medical examinations (IME's) per year. The examinations are usually done at six month intervals. However, the IME doctor is not truly independent but rather a defense medical expert.
Many IME doctors are heavily dependent on insurance company referrals and try to justify their opinions by showing the injured worker is faking or exaggerating.
The IME doctor will try to show inconsistencies between the injured worker's subjective complaints and statements regarding his/her capabilities and what the injured worker actually does by closely evaluating the injured worker's social history and daily routine. Some IME doctors will even watch or videotape the injured worker walking to and from the exam room and/or office.
The IME doctor will also examine the injured worker for physical signs of working such as dirty fingernails or calloused hands.
Based on the IME doctor's opinions the insurance company may be in a position to modify, suspend, or terminate an injured worker's compensation benefits. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney at Michael J. O'Connor & Associates if the insurance company schedules an IME in order to prepare for possible litigation.
NOTE: It is imperative that the injured worker also see his own doctor in close proximity to the IME.
The workers' compensation lawyer team at Michael J. O'Connor & Associates is ready to begin tackling your legal problem today. Email or call our toll free number at 1 (800) 518-4LAW for a free initial consultation and review of your case.
By Michael O'Connor