The independent medical exam is incredibly important and it is crucial that you know what to do when you are in the examination room with the doctor. Otherwise, you might reap some unpleasant consequences, such as the suspension of your workers’ compensation benefits. Do not let this happen to you.
We compiled a list of tips that will help you during your independent medical examination, so you can avoid making any costly mistakes:
- Always be truthful: Dishonesty will only hurt your case, so always tell the truth and resist the temptation to exaggerate your symptoms. Keep in mind that the examining physician was hired by the insurance company and will be on the hunt for an opportunity to damage your credibility. Of course, if you are honest, the physician will not have the chance to suggest that you are trying to take advantage of your workers’ compensation claim.
- Aim for consistency: It is important to remember that your answers to the independent medical examination doctor should match accident reports, medical reports, and any other statements you made. The examiner will likely ask you the same questions repeatedly in an attempt to catch any contradictions. Remind the doctor that you already provided an answer or refer to the questionnaire you filled out. Inconsistencies will make you look like a liar, so never take a guess.
- Remember what his or her purpose is: Never forget that the purpose of the independent medical examination doctor is to assess your condition and provide a medical opinion regarding any issues that are in dispute. The physician you visit will not be your treating physician, which means doctor-patient confidentiality will not exist and anything you say during your exam will be shared with your employer’s insurance company. Do not ask for advice, volunteer information, or engage in social conversations.
- Beware of questions regarding prior injuries: If you sustained a previous injury on the same body part it is imperative that you be particularly mindful when fielding questions about prior injuries. The physician might try to claim that your older injury is the cause of your current one, which would ultimately rob you of your workers’ compensation benefits. To avoid this, always try to make a clear distinction between your old and current injuries.
- Be clear about your current limitations: If your limitations are being disputed, resulting in your scheduled visit to the independent medical examination doctor, he or she will decide what the extent of your physical or mental limitations are as a result of your workplace injury or illness. The rating the physician assigns to you will impact your ability to receive a permanent disability award, so make sure you inform the doctor of all of your current limitations.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Orange County
If you sustained a workplace injury, you need to seek skilled legal representation as soon as possible to ensure you are able to obtain the benefits you need and deserve. At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured workers and will do what it takes to help you.
Contact us today at (800) 980-6905 to request your free initial case evaluation.