Independent Medical Examination for Workers’ Compensation: What to Expect
If you’ve been injured at work, you may want to hire Glendale workers compensation lawyers to help you with your case. Once you’ve filed a claim, it’s possible that you may be asked to have an independent medical examination to review your condition. If you’re asked to attend an examination, don’t panic — inform your workers compensation lawyers in Glendale who may be able to tell you what to expect.
If you’ve been injured at work but haven’t filed a claim yet, time is running out. Call Hickey & Turim, S.C. for a free consultation at 262-797-6677 today.
The Independent Medical Examination (IME)
Your Glendale workers compensation lawyers may inform you that an IME may be requested if there is any question about your condition or the level of compensation you deserve. The exam is usually performed by a doctor that your employer or their insurance company hired. In some cases, your state’s workers compensation agency may request the IME.
If it will work in your favor, or to counter an IME that was requested by another party, your own workers compensation lawyers in Glendale may request another IME. This means there is a chance that you may have to go through more than one IMEs.
Once the exam is complete, the doctor may issue a report that includes answers to one or more of the following questions:
- Were you accurately diagnosed, and does that diagnosis match your claim?
- Is it possible that your accident was caused outside of work?
- What is the impairment rating of your condition?
- Will additional treatment or testing help? If so, what do you need?
- Have you reached the maximum medical improvement and aren’t expected to improve no matter what treatments are done?
- What work restrictions should you have?
- Are you able to return to work? If so, when?
Your Glendale workers compensation lawyers may be able to use the answers to the exam in your favor or may need to be prepared to counter them.
Preparing for the Exam
Before the exam, you may want to meet with your Glendale workers compensation lawyers to go over what you can expect in the exam. Your lawyer may be able to tell you how these appointments usually go and help you be more relaxed in advance of the exam.
First of all, you need to be truthful about your medical history, including any injuries that may have happened in the past. You do want to point out how this injury that was caused at work is different than any other injuries in the past.
The doctor may ask you how the accident happened and gather more information from you regarding your diagnosis and treatments so far. You’ll likely discuss your current symptoms and condition and then the doctor will examine you.
Additional Information That Glendale Workers Compensation Lawyers Want You To Know
Workers Compensation Coverage
While most American workers are covered by workers compensation programs, a smaller percentage of workers might not be covered. Many states have laws mandating that companies operating in the state must have a workers compensation policy with a valid insurer. However, certain employers might not be required to have a policy. Before hiring a team of Glendale workers compensation lawyers, it’s a good idea to check if your employer has a workers compensation policy.
Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers Comp
Furthermore, some injuries might not be covered in a workers comp claim. The primary defining characteristic of a valid workers compensation claim is that the injury was sustained in a work-related task (or the illness developed due to a work-related task). Injuries sustained in certain situations may be exempt from a compensation claim. States typically set restrictions on what constitutes a “work-related activity,” and you can check with any of your local Glendale workers compensation lawyers if you have questions about your own injury.
Having documentation from a doctor and/or from an independent medical exam is one way to bolster your chances of successfully arguing your case. In the event of a repetitive motion injury or a stress-related injury, it’s wise to have as much documentation as possible regarding your injury. This is because you may have to prove that a work-related task was the primary cause of your injury.
If you have recently been diagnosed with an occupational injury, such as mesothelioma (from asbestos exposure) or black lung disease (from exposure to coal mine dust), it’s important to stay mindful that your workers compensation claim may look a little different from the average claim. For these illnesses, the statute of limitations would apply from the date that you were diagnosed — not the date at which you were first exposed to the harmful substance. A skilled team of Glendale workers compensation lawyers can help you understand how your claim may be filed and processed.
Denied Workers Compensation Claims
A large percentage of workers comp claims are denied each year. It’s not uncommon for some insurers to look for any possible reason to deny a claim; after all, insurance companies are businesses looking to turn a profit. The more money they pay out in claims, the less money they retain as a profit. If you’ve already filed a claim and have been denied, this may be a good time to speak with some of the top workers compensation lawyers in Glendale WI. Some claims are denied due to lack of evidence, while others are denied due to minor clerical errors. It may be possible to appeal your claim and successfully negotiate for a fair settlement. Deadlines in the appeals process are often very short, so it’s wise to turn to Glendale workers compensation lawyers for legal counsel.
Contact Hickey & Turim, S.C. Today
At our firm, we want you to be as prepared as possible for your entire injury claim. We offer free case evaluations for new clients who would like more information about the workers compensation claims process. For more information, call the Glendale workers compensation lawyers at Hickey & Turim, S.C. at 262-797-6677 today.
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