If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may have already been seen by your treating physician to evaluate the nature of your injuries. One thing that may occur is that your employer and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may request that you be evaluated by a medical examiner of their choosing. What happens if the IME (Independent Medical Exam) doctor disagrees with your doctor? If you are facing an IME exam or an IME report has been issued that contradicts your treating physician’s findings, you may wonder what comes next in the process and what your employer can do. This article will provide you some information you should know about whether an IME workers’ comp doctor can send you back to work.
If you have been requested to attend an IME, you may wonder if you must attend. The short answer is yes.
Although you have no legal obligation to attend an IME requested by your employer or employer’s insurance, a failure to attend will often result in your employer reducing or terminating your benefits.
It is in your best interest to attend an IME and be as truthful as possible with the examining physician about all of your symptoms, injuries, and restrictions to your daily activities.
Once you have been examined by an IME physician, the IME doctor will issue a report as to his or her findings regarding your injuries. It is not uncommon for the IME report to contradict your physician’s findings in whole or in part.
What happens if an IME doctor says in his or her report that you are cleared for work, or that you can work with restrictions? Is this allowed? Unfortunately, yes.
While you are not required to return to work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will typically use the findings of the IME report to stop paying benefits, and your employer may use your absence from work as a basis to terminate your employment.
For you to fight these findings, arbitration between you and the workers’ compensation insurance is typically necessary. Arbitration is a lengthy process that can take weeks or months to begin and will involve deposing your physician and the IME physician to determine whose report is more credible.
This is why it is important to have a skilled New York workers’ compensation attorney to represent you on your behalf. A workers’ comp attorney can fight to expedite the process and to dispute the IME physician’s report.
If the IME report is in and it has cleared you for work, or work with restrictions, you may wonder if you must go back to work. You may worry about re-injuring yourself or being terminated for not being able to work. If the IME doctor has cleared you for work, there are a few things you should do to make sure you protect your job and your health as best as possible.
If you have been injured on the job, it is in your best interest to contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney as soon as possible. An expert attorney can represent you at any workers’ comp proceedings, make the most beneficial arguments on your behalf, and make sure that you are not denied the compensation that you rightly deserve for your injuries and medical care.
Don’t rely on your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company’s findings. Their obligation is to their insured, and they often do not have your best interests in mind. The sooner you contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney, the more ease and success you will guarantee in your case.
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