What to Expect from an IME (Independent Medical Examination)

What to Expect from an IME (Independent Medical Examination)

When filing a worker's compensation claim, your employer's insurance company may require you to undergo an independent medical exam (IME). An IME is conducted by a physician appointed by the insurance company to give their professional opinion on any discrepancies or disputes in your worker's compensation claim, as well as whether or not it is work-related. Here’s what you can expect.

What Is an IME Doctor?

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) doctor is a neutral, third-party physician chosen by an insurance company to conduct a medical evaluation used to resolve questions about an injured worker's condition, usually in relation to a dispute regarding the extent of their injuries or recovery. While in many cases this doctor will be chosen for you by the insurance company, some states have systems which require these doctors to be randomly selected from a predetermined list in an effort to help keep these evaluations impartial.

How to Prepare for an IME

Keep in mind that the physician conducting the IME works for the insurance company — and their opinions often lean in favor of the insurance company. To avoid a workers' compensation claim denial, it's vital to know how to prepare. Here's what to do before heading into your IME appointment:

  • Bring a friend or relative to your exam
    You will be asked many questions, so having someone assisting you with taking notes and recording the details of your IME can be helpful to your case.
  • Only discuss the facts of your injury
    While you must disclose information about your work-injury, stick to the facts. Any information provided can be used as testimony against you.
  • Don't sign any documents
    If you are asked to sign any documents, consult with your workers' compensation attorney before doing so. Any materials you sign may be used as legal evidence.

What Will The IME Doctor Ask You?

When the IME doctor is asking questions, it's important to stick to the facts and refrain from exaggerating the particulars of your injuries as well as your limitations. The IME physician may ask about the following:

  • Your medical history
  • How your work accident happened
  • What types of treatments you are currently receiving
  • Current symptoms

Common Tests Performed During an IME

The IME physician may order their own tests to learn more about your work-related injury. Depending on the type of injury, you may be required to undergo the following tests:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone scan
  • Ultrasound

If you've suffered a work-related injury or illness, and need assistance with filing a workers' compensation claim, we can help. Contact Spellen Law, LLC today at (205) 810-2275 for a free case evaluation. Our experienced workers' compensation attorneys will fight for the benefits you deserve.

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