After filing a workers’ compensation claim in California, your employer should ask you to see a doctor, even if you already needed medical attention due to your work-related injury. Don’t be surprised if the doctor they recommend is no one you have ever met before. Employers and their insurers often have a list of their own independent medical examiners (IME) on call to review the health and condition of injured employees. The question arises, “Should you agree to see an IME?”
Work with a Doctor You Trust
In most workers’ compensation claims, you should have the option to refuse to see an IME in lieu of seeing your own doctor, or at least one you choose on your own accord. When this is a possibility, you should take it. Otherwise, you could be handing your employer or their insurance provider medical evidence they can use to cut your claim’s cost to ribbons.
An independent medical examiner who has never seen you before will have a difficult time understanding how your injuries have affected you. This is true for both physical harm and emotional trauma. No matter how well an IME wants you to be, they simply cannot meet the same standards that your regular physician can. It is entirely possible that this lack of familiarity could lead to an incomplete diagnosis and ultimately costing you money out of your own pocket to treat symptoms of your injury.
Consider if your injury occurred outside of work. Would you decide to see just any doctor in that situation? Probably not. Why would you be okay with impersonal treatment for your workers’ compensation claim then? With your future finances and wellbeing on the line, you should not gamble on an IME and insist on seeing a doctor you pick for yourself.
If you need help understanding and upholding your rights after being hurt while at work, you can come to Alvandi Law Group, P.C. for legal guidance and advocacy. Our Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys have been helping workers throughout California for more than a decade, having won more than $300 million in compensation for them through verdicts and settlements. Discover what we can do for you and your case by contacting us today.