If you’ve already put in your claim for workers compensation benefits and the insurance company has requested that you submit to an independent medical exam (IME), chances are that they’re gearing up to deny your claim. This can cause financial anxiety for those who are counting on their benefits so that they can continue to support their families while out of work.
However, you should rest easier knowing that you have an experienced North Carolina workers comp lawyer by your side, ready to fight for your right to the benefits you’re entitled to. Continue reading to learn more about your rights during an IME and how you can prepare for the exam.
Your Rights During an Independent Medical Exam
As mentioned, the insurance company will oftentimes request that an injured worker have an IME when they are preparing to deny your claim. The physician conducting the exam will be chosen by the insurer and may therefore be on their side. They’ll be looking for signs that you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries or illness.
Thankfully, you have the right to have your treating physician with you at the time of the exam. This will ensure that you have a second set of ears reviewing your condition. You also have the right to get a second opinion regarding the results of your IME if you disagree with the impairment rating they’ve given you.
How to Prepare for Your Exam
Before your independent medical exam, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve compiled all medical documentation of your injuries or signed the necessary releases that enable the physician conducting the exam to review them. During the exam, the physician is going to be reviewing your injury and perhaps ordering additional testing.
You’ll need to make sure that you are completely honest with how your injuries have impacted your life, but do not exaggerate their influence.
For instance, if you have suffered a spine injury and are unable to lift heavy objects or bend over, these are things you’ll need to bring up in your IME so that they physician can make a note in your file. If your position at work requires these tasks, it becomes critical that you mention this, as it goes to your ability to complete the requirements of your position.
Attempting to make your condition seem worse than it is, however, will not work out in your favor. The physician will likely be experienced in conducting IMEs and should be able to tell whether or not your condition influences your ability to work.
In some cases, because the physician has been hired by the insurer, they may minimize the impact your injuries have had on your life, which might lead to denial of your workers comp claim. At this point, our team is prepared to bring your case to the North Carolina Industrial Commission for appeal or even to court if it becomes necessary.
Reach Out to a Qualified North Carolina Workers Comp Lawyer
For assistance in preparing for an IME, or if your claim has been denied based on the results of your IME and you need help with your appeal, get in touch with a knowledgeable North Carolina workers comp lawyer at Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers, P.A. as soon as possible.
Our firm will stop at nothing to get your claim approved. You can give our office a call at (252) 777-2222 or complete the quick contact form below to schedule your free claim review today.