In a workers’ compensation claim, disputes often arise about the source of someone’s injuries, the exact nature and extent of the damage and their ability to work. When that happens, Florida law permits the use of an independent medical examination (IME).
IMEs are supposed to be performed by neutral physicians, but many injured workers find their experiences at an IME suggest that the doctor is anything but unbiased.
What can you do to make your IME go smoothly?
Here are some helpful tips that can make the difference between a positive and negative experience at the doctor’s office:
- Review your own notes or medical records before you get there. Be ready to give a clear, concise history that includes how you were injured, what treatments you have tried and what symptoms you’re still having.
- Recognize that you’re being watched throughout your visit. How you behave coming into the office, in the waiting room and on the way to your car will likely be observed and noted.
- Be polite, clear and forthcoming. You don’t want to appear hostile, vague or deceptive about your situation. That could make the doctor think you’re trying to hide something.
- Be careful what you say. Do not discuss anything about your workers’ comp claim, a potential settlement, the insurance company, your employer or your attorney.
- Take someone with you, if at all possible. Merely having a witness in the room during your exam can protect you if there’s a dispute later about the doctor’s actions.
Workers’ compensation was designed to be a less-complicated system of relief for injured workers that makes it possible to avoid lengthy, drawn-out legal processes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. When you encounter problems with your workers’ comp claim, it’s smart to get some experienced assistance.