5 reasons why our clients hate the IME

What you need to know about the independent medical examination (IME) to protect your legal rights.

It is very common for our clients to be sent to an IME as part of their workers’ comp case. This gives the insurance company an opportunity to have them examined by a doctor of its choosing.

The IME is a source of great stress and worry for our clients. Insurance companies use the same doctors over and over again because they know what to expect.

Some medical examinations take no more than 10-15 minutes and result in a benefit cut-off. Here are 5 reasons why our clients think the IME is just awful.

1. Medical examination is under duress

You must attend the IME if requested by the insurance company. No doctor/patient relationship will be established and many people feel very uncomfortable. The doctor simply writes a report giving his or her opinion about causation and disability.

2. You will most likely get cut-off

It is no secret that many of these physicians make a career out of testifying for insurance companies. These dubious medical opinions are often the basis for a claim dispute. You will be told that your medical condition was not caused by employment despite what a treating doctor says.

3. It’s a lose lose situation

Most people understand that benefits will be suspended if they refuse to attend the IME. But what happens if they are not currently getting anything? Not showing up for the IME can also result in a forfeiture during any period of unreasonable refusal. This means you have lost your case even before the magistrate sees any medical evidence.

4. It’s a lonely place

You are not allowed to bring anyone into the examination room with the exception of your own doctor. This rule extends to tape records and other electronic devices. Just because you showed up for the IME does not mean you are automatically safe. Failure to cooperate with the doctor can be treated like a refusal to submit to the examination.

5. Round and round it goes

Insurance companies can send people to several doctors when evaluating a claim. A person might also be seen by the same doctor numerous times. It is up to the magistrate to decide whether the process is being abused and typically only after a cut-off.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

How insurance companies use IME doctors to abuse the workers comp system

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by kokopinto50.

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