Disagree With Your IME? What To Do
If you've been hurt on the job, you might be entitled to an array of benefits. Those can include payment of medical bills and a partial salary while recuperating at home. At some point, you might be asked to participate in an independent medical exam (IME). The importance of this exam cannot be underestimated, and some hurt workers are unhappy with the results. Read on to find out more.
Why Is an IME Necessary?
This special medical exam gives the workers' compensation agency more information about the health of a hurt worker. If the worker has not been able to return to work and claims to still be suffering from an injury, the insurer will need to verify that by contracting with a doctor to perform the exam. There is always the potential for a worker to have a permanent injury, and this examination will either confirm that or send that worker back to work.
Do You Disagree With the Results?
You don't have to accept the results of the IME. For example, if the doctor performing the IME recommends that you return to work but you are unable to do so, you may need to take action. On the other hand, if you are deemed permanently disabled, you have the right to disagree with that ruling, too. One important point to keep in mind is that if you are entitled to a settlement or if you disagree with any workers' compensation ruling, you may need to seek help from a workers' compensation lawyer.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Workers' compensation rules can be complex and can vary greatly by location. All states have their own workers' compensation boards that make the rules and that preside over hearings about the status of a claim. If you are facing a workers' comp ruling that is not in your favor, chances are high that a process for challenging that decision exists. That is where a workers' comp lawyer might come in and support hurt workers while they go through the appeals process. If you are facing a ruling after an IME, you may be able to request a second IME to be performed by a different neutral doctor. If the doctors' findings are in disagreement, you may be entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Another important aspect of this situation concerns workers who agree with the results of the IME but who need help with the settlement negotiations. If you are facing life with a permanent disability, what you receive in a settlement becomes very important. It can be difficult for some hurt workers to negotiate a settlement without help. Lawyers know what you deserve, how it should be paid to you, and how to make the insurer pay that sum.
Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.