How To Conduct Yourself At The Independent Medical Examination

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, the workers compensation insurance company may have requested that you undergo an independent medical exam. The purpose of this exam is to get more information about your medical condition associated with your injury and to determine how soon, if ever, you should return to work.

This exam is normally requested when there is a question about your medical condition, and the result of this exam could be extremely important to your workers compensation claim. If you have been scheduled for an IME, you should be careful about how you conduct yourself at this examination. Read on for tips on how to handle an IME for workers comp claims.

How To Conduct Yourself At The IME

1.  Be polite and respectful of the doctor, but be careful about what you say. There is no confidentiality in your communication with this doctor, so don't ramble or volunteer information.

2.  Be honest, but complete in your answers. The doctor will have access to your test results and may do some simple range-of-motion tests at the exam, so don't exaggerate your symptoms. The doctor will be experienced at detecting your exaggerations and you could lose credibility for your entire claim if you overdo it.

3.  Don't downplay your symptoms. You may have explained your injury and condition to countless medical personnel, but this doctor's opinion is too important for you minimize your symptoms now.

4.  Be proactive about preexisting conditions. If you have had a previous injury to the same body part, explain how the new injury is different from the old injury. It's important to note that preexisting conditions that were made worse by a work-related injury are covered by workers compensation.

The Doctor's Report

After your exam, the doctor will complete a report with his findings and opinion of your medical condition. The report could include:

  • What, if any, medical condition you have.
  • The probable cause of the condition and whether or not it was work-related.
  • The percentage of impairment you presently have.
  • Additional treatments recommended.
  • Work restriction recommendations.
  • Whether or not you will ever be able to return to work.

If you've been asked to attend an IME, a consultation with a workers compensation attorney to help you get your claim approved is vital. If needed, your attorney can arrange for you to have an IME exam done by a doctor of your own choosing. Together, you and your attorney can work towards making sure that your workers comp claim is approved.