Insurance companies use IME doctors to dispute payment of workers’ comp benefits in Michigan.
Michigan law requires that anyone claiming workers’ comp benefits must submit to a medical examination ordered by the employer or its insurance carrier. We have blogged about this so-called “independent” medical examination on several occasions and explained how it is used against disabled employees. It is a real shame because many people think it is a second opinion and hope these doctors can provide some relief. Unfortunately, the independent medical examination (IME) is frequently used to stop payments. Here is what not to say to a workers’ comp doctor in Michigan if scheduled for this appointment.
Anything you say to your Michigan workers’ comp doctor can be used to justify a dispute
Our experience shows that a Michigan workers’ comp doctor will perform an IME exam which usually takes less than 15 minutes and can be very intrusive. They will ask personal questions and perform a physical examination. It is natural to get defensive in this situation but remember anything that you say can be used to justify a dispute.
For example, if you try to be evasive and say you don’t remember how the accident happened. We recommend taking some time before the examination and refreshing your memory about the workplace accident. Make sure to give a correct history about getting hurt on-the-job. Know the date of accident, approximate time, activities being performed when it occurred, and how you got hurt. Explain how symptoms are now keeping you from working.
Be honest about pre-existing conditions
It is also important to be honest with your Michigan workers’ comp doctor about any preexisting conditions. We do not recommend lying about previous treatment from years ago. The insurance company is going to get a copy of your medical records and can usually find out anyways.
Recording your IME examination
It is common for our clients to receive short notice for the IME exam. They get asked to bring medical records along with digital imaging such as CT scans or MRI films. Attorneys are not permitted to attend, and family members are not allowed into the examination room. A person is not even allowed to make an audio recording of the IME. Don’t say to your Michigan workers’ comp doctor that you are recording the independent medical examination and that you will share it with your lawyer. This can be taken as not cooperating and workers’ comp benefits will be suspended.
Review medical reports
Don’t be rude or confrontational if your insurance company receives a biased medical report from the IME examiner because how you behave will be used against you in the report. We recommend challenging any biased medical reports in court and it will be up to the magistrate if payments should be resumed.
From our experience, these biased medical reports are generated months or years after a claim was submitted. Usually it will be found that a person has fully recovered and can return to work. Sometimes the biased medical report says it was never a work-related injury in the first place.
Injured while on-the-job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers now
If you were injured while on the job in Michigan and have questions about your work injury claim or if you have questions on what not to say to your Michigan workers’ comp doctor, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. Our attorneys are here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
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 (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.