Independent Medical Examinations
In New York, workers’ compensation insurance companies are entitled to request and conduct an independent medical examination (IME) to verify the findings of the treating doctor. But the real purpose of the IME is to find evidence they can use to reduce or terminate your benefits.
If you are asked to undergo an IME, it is important to take this matter seriously. Responding in the wrong way could result in the loss of your workers’ compensation benefits.
How We Can Help
At Dennis Kenny Law, we are strong advocates for injured workers. We work diligently to help our clients get all of the medical care and workers’ compensation benefits they deserve.
In a free consultation, we can explain how the IME process works and provide guidance regarding how you should behave during the examination.
Call Dennis Kenny Law, at 888-312-5516 to schedule a free consultation.
The IME Doctor Is Not Your Friend
Insurance companies wish to minimize their claim costs. One of the chief tools they use for this purpose is the independent medical examination. The doctors chosen to conduct IMEs are anything but “independent”. They are specifically chosen for their willingness to minimize the extent of injuries and the medical care, injured workers need.
You do the following before, during and after an IME:
- Be on time for your appointment.
- Be properly groomed and dress appropriately.
- Remember that everything you say and do in the doctor’s office will be noted.
- You should be honest about your medical condition and your limitations. Do not exaggerate or engage in dramatics.
- Be serious and polite. Laughing, jollity or excessive mirth on your part could be misinterpreted.
- Don’t allow an insurance company case manager to be in the exam room during the examination.
- Answer the doctor’s questions forthrightly, but don’t volunteer any information beyond what the doctor asks.
- Don’t say anything about your workers’ compensation claim, such as the amount of benefits you are receiving or an upcoming hearing.
- Ask for copies of anything you fill out or sign in the doctor’s office.
- After the exam, write down what happened, including:
- What questions the doctor asked and what the doctor said
- Your answers to those questions
- What tests or procedures the doctor performed
- Make a timeline of the examination, noting what was done and how long it took
There are many more considerations to keep in mind during and after an IME. A lawyer at Dennis Kenny Law, can advise you.