Tips For Ensuring Your IME Is Performed Properly
If you have been injured on the job, most of the time, your employer will send you to undergo what is referred to as an Independent Medical Exam (IME) in order to assess whether your injury is compensable via the workers’ compensation system. However, an IME is not the simple process that most people are led to believe it is, at least not most of the time. It is very plausible that things may go wrong or a doctor may have their own reasons for issuing an adverse finding. However, there are some small steps you can take to prevent these eventualities.
When it is held that an IME is necessary in a workers’ compensation case, the employer’s insurance company will consult with the doctor it chooses to perform the exam, and it can be a good idea to ensure that you ask to review any letters sent by the insurer to the doctor, so that you can be certain all the relevant information is there, and that it is correct. It is also a good idea to do the same with the report the doctor generates after the exam.
Keep Privileges (Or Lack Thereof) In Mind
Florida law prohibits “ex parte” communications (communications that only benefit one party in a suit, or only benefit outside parties) by treating medical providers regarding essentially any aspect of their patient’s health – but this does not apply to physicians performing IMEs, who are seen as expert witnesses rather than treating physicians. Thus, the doctor can legally talk about your condition and almost anything you say to them regarding your injuries. This can hurt your case.
Do Not Be Afraid To Challenge The IME
While you cannot challenge the doctor’s findings solely because they are unfavorable, you can always challenge the findings of an IME if you believe they are inaccurate or were arrived at using inaccurate information. If the insurer still tries to use its findings against you, you may be able to file against them.
Don’t Try To Do It Alone
This especially holds true at the exam itself. If it is possible to take your attorney or a friend as a witness of sorts, it can pay off in the future, especially if there turns out to be irregularities. While Florida is a two-party consent state in terms of recording the meeting, your witness can take detailed notes, or photographs of non-confidential surroundings. Information is key, and can help in unusual situations down the road.
Enlist Knowledgeable Legal Help
While you may have knowledge of the process, or friends or loved ones who have been through it, nothing substitutes for the experience of a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney. The Winter Park workers’ compensation lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group are ready, willing and able to help you get through the IME process and if need be, the entire workers’ compensation journey, from beginning to end. Contact us today via telephone at 407-871-6375 or toll free at 866-300-5468 to set up a consultation.