Independent Medical Examinations (IME)
Our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You Prepare
If you were injured in a workplace accident, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Insurance companies routinely try to minimize your claim so they can pay you less. That’s why you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to fight for your rights. That’s when you should call Shebell & Shebell, LLC. Our offices are located in Shrewsbury and Newark.
Under the state’s workers’ compensation system, the insurance company can request that you get an independent medical examination (IME) from a doctor of their choosing. You may not like the idea of seeing yet another doctor but refusing this examination can put your benefits at risk. Our attorneys can help you prepare to make sure the doctor has all necessary information.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before the examination:
Realize that the evaluation starts as soon as you get there.
The doctor will examine you and ask you questions, but the evaluation begins as soon as you open the door. The doctor will observe how you walk, if you have any difficulty getting on the evaluation table and if you appear to be in any discomfort. Don’t exaggerate anything but be aware that you are being evaluated the entire time you are there.
Remember that the insurance company requested this.
The doctor may be very friendly, but remember, the insurance specifically requested that this doctor evaluate your injuries. They want to minimize your claim so they can pay you less in workers’ compensation benefits. Be cooperative and answer the doctor’s questions, but don’t volunteer any information.
Be prepared to talk about the effects of your injury.
Talk about how the injury has affected your daily life. Mention any activities you can no longer do, at least without difficulty. Talk about any pain that you are currently experiencing and when it occurs. A great way to keep track of pain and limitations is to write them in a notebook as you experience them.
If the doctor asks about your pain level or current limitations, give honest answers. In some cases, the insurance company hires private investigators to watch injured workers out in public. They are looking for evidence that workers are exaggerating their injuries. They may or may not do that in your case, but the best policy is always to just tell the truth.
A workplace injury can have physical, emotional and financial effects for you and your family. You may need extensive medical treatment, and the expenses can add up quickly. You may also suffer a loss of income while you are left unable to work. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to pay for needed medical treatment and provide you with partial wages.
Insurance companies can dispute the extent of your injuries or the need for certain treatment. They may also pressure you into returning to work even though you are still recovering from your injuries. Requesting an independent medical examination may be part of their attempts to limit your benefits.
Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys know how to help you fight back to get the benefits that you deserve. If your benefits are denied, we build a strong case and present convincing arguments in front of workers’ compensation judges. If necessary, we are ready to fight for you in court. Many times, we are able to settle your claim.
Learn more about how we can help. If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers.