Over the course of a workers’ comp claim, it is possible that there will be a disagreement between you and your employer’s insurance company. Usually this involves a dispute related to the severity and long term effects of your work related injury, and generally arises because the insurance company is unhappy with the amount they are required to pay you. In these circumstances, the insurance company may request an Independent Medical Exam to get a second opinion about your injury. After you’ve undergone an independent medical exam, your workers’ comp claim may be reduced or even denied. Keep reading to learn more about independent medical examinations, and why you need an expert workers’ comp attorney on your side to help fight for your claim.
Why Do You Need an Independent Medical Exam?
An independent medical exam is undergone to determine the breadth of your injury, including the longevity of the effects and what types of treatment may be required to rectify the situation. Independent medical exams are generally done at the behest of the insurance company, but may also be ordered by the judge in your workers’ comp case on a fact finding basis. Once your exam is completed, the results of the examination will be given to all interested parties, which may either help or harm your case depending on the facts of the reports.
Pay Attention to Who Chooses Your Examiner
Thanks to their designation, you would hope that an independent medical examiner would be free from influence, focused solely on the facts of the examination. Unfortunately, depending on who selects your examiner, they may be biased against you before your exam even begins. Because most medical exams in workers’ comp cases are requested by the employer’s insurance company, they will often select your medical examiner. It is possible that the examiner they select will have a longstanding relationship with the insurance company, relying on the company for business and tilting the examiner’s decision against your favor.
One of the reasons you need a workers’ comp attorney on your side is that they can fight back against the bias that can happen during the course of an independent medical examination. A good workers’ comp attorney can either ensure that your examiner remains neutral, or fight against the results of your exam if it is discovered that your examiner was prejudiced against you from the outset.
Be Cautious Throughout the Course of Your Exam
Because an independent medical examination is different from a normal doctor’s checkup, it is important to be careful throughout the process. The insurance company will try and frame your injury in a manner that benefits their interests, possibly coloring the examiner’s opinion before your evaluation even begins. Additionally, there is no expectation of privacy during an independent medical examination, like there would be during a regular doctor’s visit. This means that everything you tell the doctor, any questions you might ask and any actions the examiner observes may be disclosed during the course of your case, possibly damaging the likelihood of a settlement.
If you feel after your examination that the examiner’s conclusion was inaccurate or unfair in some way, your workers’ comp attorney can help you contest the report.
Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney to Fight for You
Fighting for your proper payment after an on the job injury will be one of the most difficult struggles of your life. Insurance companies will use everything at their disposable, including biased medical examiners, to keep from giving you the type of settlement that you deserve. To fight back against the insurance companies and reclaim your life following a work related injury, you need to hire the McMahan Law Firm. Our expert attorneys will help fight for you after an independent medical exam, including challenging factual errors in your report and pointing out examiner bias. Don’t let the insurance company off the hook after your medical exam; contact us today to get the representation—and the settlement—that you deserve.