After being injured on the job, time often feels like it slows down but is also passing too quickly. Bills and expenses pile up rapidly and relief from any help seems to always be further away.
Part of this feeling comes from the number of hoops one must jump through to get a worker’s compensation claim processed. It’s hard enough to understand the thick layer of bureaucracy that exists in the process at the best of times, let alone when in the moment.
Dealing with the seemingly endless exams and meetings to get compensation money released is one reason to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney early in the process. They will guide you through the steps and give you a more definitive timeline.
One of the hardest to understand parts of the process is the independent medical examination (IME). Let’s break that down here.
Workers’ Compensation Evaluation
One of the hardest questions to answer satisfactorily after an injury is why so many steps?
It’s easy to feel that the many hurdles put in place are done so specifically to benefit insurance companies and excuse employers from paying their rightful share. The reason behind IME is less for those two reasons (though those reasons are factors) and more to ensure that a full evaluation of the problem is addressed.
For the Worker
Benefiting you, the worker, is the careful consideration of injuries. Injuries that are obvious in an examination from a primary care provider may make finding deeper, chronic issues more difficult.
An independent evaluation gives fresh eyes to your condition and may reveal underlying problems that could impact you during your recovery or later in life. There’s a real benefit to being reviewed by multiple practitioners to get a holistic diagnosis.
For the Employer
Employers need to evaluate the cause of an injury and implement changes to the workplace to prevent future injury. They need to know information that can be a burden to a general practitioner of medicine.
You need your primary care doctor working to make you better, not bogged down with phone calls and emails dealing with paperwork related to the company. There were 2.8 million accidents in 2017 alone, which is a lot of paperwork and correspondence to work through.
For the Insurance
In the same vein, IME doctors are whitelisted by insurance companies to provide specific information that relates to the legal side of injuries.
This may seem like an unnecessary bias, but it helps the system to move faster than it otherwise could. Insurance companies care more about fault and their bottom line than your health. Doctors chosen for IMEs know the right kind of lingo and forms to report this information.
Insurance companies, and your employer, need to stay above board when it comes to any claim made. The few cheaters and liars that fake injuries and demand payments unfairly drain a system in place to aid those with real problems.
The system of IME gives tighter control to the companies, but that control is meant to help weed out bad actors.
With the insurance companies and your employer working to pay out as little as possible, and your own doctor focused on your health, you need attorneys skilled in the workers’ compensation field to fight for your best interest.
The system may be slow and adversarial, but it has solutions for you. Contact us today to balance the scales in your direction. We’re here to help.