As lawyers focusing on Workers’ Compensation claims, it’s heartbreaking to see how many workers are injured each year. Sadly, many of these individuals have trouble receiving the benefits or full amount of benefits they deserve because their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company does everything they can to reduce or deny benefits. One strategy the insurance companies will use is an Independent Medical Examination (IME), a medical appointment with a doctor hand-picked by the insurance company or their attorneys to evaluate purportedly how severe the victim’s injuries really are.
If you’re not completely prepared for the IME, you may accidentally say or do something that could be used against you.
The insurance company will work hard to lower their spend, so they will look for every excuse to reduce or deny you benefits. Insurance companies pay close attention to your medical records when determining whether you have a claim. Here are some guidelines you should follow to improve your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits:
The doctor in your IME has competing priorities. The doctor has sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, but they’re also receiving a steady stream of business from the insurance company. If they can’t help the insurance company reduce its claims, there’s a chance the insurance company will send the doctor fewer referrals.
To ensure the insurance company remains happy, these doctors will often recommend that you return to work before you’re 100%. They may try to minimize the extent of your injuries in your medical records. If your injuries appear smaller or less severe, the insurance company has a better chance of denying or reducing your benefits.
Appointments with the IME are typically faster than your usual doctor appointment. They may review your medical history, ask you a few questions, examine you, then get you on your way. If you can, bring along a witness, like a spouse or family member, to take part in the appointment with you.
Your claim can be highly dependent on the IME, but that doctor doesn’t have the final say. You should still seek the treatment of your own physician.
The insurance company will look for every opportunity to use your medical records against you. By taking the proper precautions, you can ensure your workers’ compensation case is as strong as possible. If you’ve been injured on the job and want legal representation before dealing with the insurance company and doctors, contact us. We can ensure you receive the protection you deserve.
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