Independent Medical Evaluations
July 21, 2020
Hi, I’m attorney Peter Gough, a certified workers’ compensation specialist here at QuatriniRafferty and welcome to legal tip Tuesday. Today I’d like to talk to you about independent medical evaluations. A huge part of the workers’ medical evaluations. A huge part of the workers’ evaluation, or IME. If an injured worker is receiving workers’ compensation benefits for any significant period of time, typically after 90 days the workers compensation carrier is going to acquire or ask at the injured worker attended independent medical evaluation.
So, what is an independent medical evaluation? Essentially, it can be called a consultative examination. It could be called a second opinion, but in the end, it’s essentially a request by the insurance company to have the injured worker go to an examination with a provider or examiner of its choice. This examiner is paid for or paid by the workers’ compensation carrier it’s set by the workers’ compensation carrier. It typically involves a relationship between the examiner and the workers’ compensation carrier. So, when we use the word independent medical evaluation that is a misnomer, It’s never independent. It’s an examination design for the carrier to obtain some type of information to affect the injured workers’, rights and benefits and the vast majority of independent medical evaluations end up with the workers’ compensation carrier trying to stop or affect the workers’ compensation benefits.
Next question is do I have to attend the independent medical evaluation? Well, the answer really is it depends for reasonable excuse or cause the examination can be cancelled or postponed, but what is reasonable cause actually that it depends on the facts of each case, but failing to attend in an independent medical evaluation after the judge issued an order that you attend that could result in the forfeiture of your benefits. So, what do you do If you are asked to attend an independent medical evaluation? Well, you call QuatriniRafferty, we will guide you through the process.
First, we will look at your case in depth and decide whether an independent medical evaluation is within the rights of the carrier. If we decide that you do have to attend the examination, we will help you we’ll help you and guide you through the entire process. We will give you something called do’s and don’ts essentially what to do what not to do when attending the independent medical evaluation. If we decide that you do not have to attend the examination, then we will advise the carrier of our decision. What does this cost? Absolutely nothing. This part of the process is part of what we give our clients regardless of they’re paying a fee. So, if you get a notice that you are to attend an independent medical evaluation come see us at QuatriniRafferty. We’ve handled tens of thousands of workers’ compensation cases. We’ve handled way more than that independent medical evaluations. We are the experts call us.