After you make the decision to pursue legal action against your employer, things can get messy. Employers are mandated by state-law to provide workers’ comp insurance, but some businesses slip through the cracks. There are also some exceptions to the rule, such as small businesses and independent contractors. However, the problems don’t end there. In the event that your company does provide workers’ comp, they may want to know every detail of your medical illness and treatment to avoid overpaying for services or even paying at all.
What Is An IME?
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are required to go to a doctor for a specialized exam—an independent medical examination. An independent medical evaluation is usually requested by an insurance company when they are disputing the severity of your illness. It is an attempt to lower the amount of workers’ comp insurance that they have to pay.
The insurance company gathers all of your medical records to date regarding the injury and writes a letter to the physician detailing the ailment and your treatments. The doctor chosen for the workers’ comp evaluation is not your regular primary care physician. This doctor is chosen by the insurance company and works in their interests. Unfortunately, anything you tell the doctor is not considered privileged information and can be used against you in the court of law. The physician may also minimize the extent of your injuries in an effort to save the insurance company money.
Remember, this exam was requested by the insurance company because they disagree with your diagnosis, and they are looking for a way to minimize costs. The doctor, as well as the insurance company, is not working in your best interests.
Hire Robert White As Your Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You should look into hiring a workers’ compensation attorney preferably before you go in to receive your independent medical evaluation. The attorney can request to see the letter and other documents the insurance company will send to the acting physician. The attorney can also prep you on the questions to ask during the exam so that you can learn more about your condition and not implicate yourself. Your attorney will also help you request the report the physician sends to the insurance company.
The process of an IME may seem small, but it is a determining factor in your case. Testimony from this physician may affect the treatment you receive going forward and the money the insurance company pays. You need to find an attorney who understands the intricacies and inner workings of the physician-insurance company relationship. You also need to have an expert on your side to guide you in the right direction.
You may feel small and powerless going up against an insurance company, but Braker White can provide the support you need. Robert White and Greta Braker are based in Texas, a state known for its lack of workers’ comp insurance, and they have litigated many personal injury cases. Both lawyers are board-certified and committed to providing you with strong legal aid in your time of crisis. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today to learn more about your rights.