Understand the law so you can get the best settlement after IME
An independent medical examination (IME) is an exam that is performed on a patient by a medical professional who is not actively involved in the patient’s treatment. Its purpose is to determine the patient’s current condition and evaluate treatment.
Typically, an independent medical examination is required by the insurance company when a workers’ compensation case is not moving fast enough. It may also be ordered if the adjuster disagrees with your treating physician’s opinion. Often, the insurance adjuster will make an independent medical examination sound like a good idea.
However, in many cases, an IME is not helpful to the workers’ compensation claimant. IME physicians are part of a large network. They sometimes travel from adjoining states to Montana to perform these types of examinations, and they charge hefty fees. The happier the workers’ compensation adjuster is with their report, the more cases the doctor gets as a referral—so there’s clearly an incentive for the IME doctors to make the insurance company happy.
It’s important to note that the workers’ compensation law in the state of Montana gives insurance companies the right to require an IME of its workers’ compensation claimants. It’s also important to note that this IME professional is NOT your physician. Whatever you say to them will be shared with the insurance company.
What happens after workers’ comp IME?
After an independent medical examination, your report will be shared with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will then discuss the report with your treating physician. Although the treating physician’s report should hold more weight, the court may still agree with the independent physician’s report.
An adverse IME can have a negative impact on your workers’ compensation benefits. Your benefits may be decreased or completely stopped. In some cases, you may be able to dispute the report. If there is any incorrect information on your report, you should notify the insurance company and the doctor who performed the exam immediately. In some cases, you may be able to request a second IME.
The benefits of a workers’ compensation attorney
If you are unable to resolve the matter on your own, it’s time to enlist the help of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney near you. At Murphy Law Firm, our Montana workers’ compensation attorneys will work to protect your best interest. We can file objections, schedule a deposition or ask for another IME. We can also help you get a better settlement after an IME.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help with your claim if it’s been denied. It’s not always easy to get your claim approved. We can build a stronger case on your behalf by gathering all the evidence required to get your claim approved and help you get a better settlement from the insurance company.
A workers’ comp attorney at Murphy Law Firm can also connect you with a qualified physician who has experience with your type of injury. These doctors can provide medical documentation that will stand up in court. We can also schedule depositions of all the healthcare professionals involved in your case.
In addition, working with us can greatly improve the negotiations with the workers’ compensation insurance company. As experienced work injury attorneys, we know many of the maneuvers that insurance companies use to unfairly deny claims. We’ll fight for you to help get you the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ compensation cases can be extremely complicated. Our attorneys know Montana law like the back of our hand, so we can help navigate the process to get you the settlement you deserve.