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Wisconsin Workers Compensation Laws Terminology

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Healing Period

This is the period of time in which a doctor is actively treating the injury you suffered at work. Benefits for temporary disability are available during the healing period.

“End of Healing” or “Healing Plateau”

“End of healing” or “healing plateau” refers to the moment in which a doctor determines that you are as good as you are going to be. In other words, your medical condition has become stationary. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that you are “all better.”

Independent Medical Examination (IME)

What is an independent medical examination (IME)?

Under the Worker’s Compensation Act, an insurance company or self-insured employer may request that an injured worker submit to reasonable examinations by a doctor of its choice. This examination is usually referred to as an independent medical examination (IME).

Do I have to go to an IME?

Yes. The insurance company or self-insured employer is responsible for the costs of the IME (i.e. transportation/mileage, meals, lodging, wage loss, etc.). Keep in mind that this DOES NOT mean that you need to see a doctor chosen by the insurance company for treatment.

Do I have to go to a doctor chosen by the insurance company for treatment?

No. An IME is very different than seeing a doctor for treatment. An IME is typically a one-time evaluation in which the doctor determines compensability, the extent of disability, necessity of treatment, and permanent disability. He or she (“the IME doctor”) will not treat you for your particular injuries. It is extremely important that you understand that the insurance company CANNOT require you to see a doctor of their choice for treatment.

You have the absolute right under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act to pick your own treating physician. With that being said, you DO have to go to a scheduled IME. This is not for treatment, but rather for a one time evaluation.

Should I follow the restrictions of my treating doctor?

Yes. This is extremely important. Keep in mind that this DOES NOT mean that you should follow the restrictions of the IME doctor. An IME doctor is NOT your treating doctor.

What does an IME notice look like?

An IME notice is a letter from the insurance company and/or their attorney, stating the name of the doctor, as well as the date and time of the evaluation. Often times, this will also include a mileage check and a printed map that shows you where the appointment is scheduled to take place. If you receive an IME notice, make sure to contact us immediately.

What should I do if I get a letter asking me to attend an IME?

If you have received a letter asking you to attend an IME, it is extremely important that you fill out our free evaluation form or call 262-797-6677 immediately.

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