Independent Medical Examinations (IME)
We protect the rights of injured workers in New Jersey
After suffering a workplace injury, you will likely be required to undergo an independent medical examination. The idea is to determine the extent of your injuries so you can receive the workers' compensation benefits you need. But the insurance company has other ideas. The workers' compensation attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC can guide you through the process to help you protect your right to benefits.
When you attend the examination, it is important to remember that the doctor is evaluating you at the request of the insurance company. Their goal is to minimize the exposure that they have to your workers' compensation claim. Even if a doctor seems friendly, keep in mind that the doctor works for the insurance company, whose goal is to pay out as little as is possible for your case. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by a friendly bedside manner.
Talk about the effects of your injury
You should provide a detailed description of each and every complaint that you have concerning the condition caused by your accident. Before going to the evaluation, you should give significant thought to how this accident and injury affects you. Do not be concerned that you may sound like a complainer or that you are whining. Each and every one of your complaints and limitations should be detailed to this doctor.
Describe how your daily life has changed
Itemize exactly how the injuries you have suffered affect your activities of daily living. On this topic, you should give significant thought to what you are going to describe to the doctor before you go to the evaluation. Think of all of the things that you are now unable to do as a result of your accident. Think of all of the things that you now have to do differently as a result of your injuries. They should include all your activities not only at work, but also your personal life. As this doctor is going to be assessing the percentage of disability to your injury, it is important for him or her to know exactly how your injury has affected your life.
Tell the truth
Remember that there may indeed be surveillance of you performing certain activities. It is important that you maintain a solid level of credibility throughout your entire case and the best way to do that is simply by telling the truth. You do not have to volunteer any information, however, if asked about an appropriate topic related to your medical condition, any prior conditions or subsequent injuries, it is essential that you be honest.
Keep in mind that you are being evaluated by the doctor from the time you walk into the doctor's office until the time you leave. The doctor will likely observe your posture, ability to walk, how you get on and off the evaluation table and any other activities you perform in the office. There is also the possibility that you will be under surveillance by a private investigator.
You should take copies of all diagnostic films and test results that you have in your possession with you to the doctor. If you have any questions about your independent medical examination, contact us online or call 856-751-7676. We offer a free initial consultation for clients.