If you have been injured or gotten sick at work, your doctor will make decisions about what treatment you need, the nature of your condition, and when or if you can return to work. If you decide to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, your doctor will relay this information to your employer’s insurance in order to determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
However, it’s possible that your employer’s insurance company will dispute your doctor’s claims and request a medical evaluation to be performed by a “neutral” doctor. When this happens, it is called an “Independent” or “Agreed Medical Evaluation.” Because the results of an Agreed Medical Evaluation can have a huge impact on the outcome of your workers’ compensation case, it’s important to understand how they work.
What questions will be asked in an IME?
Before your Independent Medical Examination, your medical records will be sent to the “neutral” doctor to be reviewed.During the examination, some of the questions the IME doctor will be looking to answer will include:
- Have you been correctly diagnosed?
- Was your condition caused from a work-related accident?
- Will you be able to return to work, and if so, when?
- Will the condition leave you with a permanent disability?
- Do you have any preconditions that could have caused or aggravated the injury?
It’s helpful to know that your meeting with the independent doctor will not be confidential, as is the case with your regular doctor. This means that if you tell the doctor something that they think is relevant to your workers’ compensation claim, they will pass the information on to your employer’s insurance company.
You should also expect independent doctors to be looking for discrepancies in your claim. If the doctor observes you limping into their office in extreme agony, but later they see you walking in the parking lot without a problem, this information will likely make it back to your employer and jeopardize your claim.
Because the results of an IME carry so much weight with workers’ compensation judges in Colorado, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before agreeing to an Independent Medical Evaluation.
Contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney today
If you live in Colorado and are applying for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC for assistance with your application. We take pride in fighting for your benefits, and our experienced attorneys can help you avoid mistakes that could cause your claim to be denied. For clients who live in Commerce City, Brighton, or Thornton, we offer trusted legal care you can count on. Contact us online or call (303) 880-7994 today.