What Not To Say To A Workers’ Comp Doctor During An IME

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may think your worries are over after filing the extensive amount of paperwork and seeing a doctor to treat your injuries.  However, many insurance companies for employer’s workers’ comp policies will request an Independent Medical Examination (IME) so that a different treatment provider can evaluate your injuries, and provide any inconsistencies that they can use to counter the cause, extent, and restrictions of your injuries from a workplace accident.  If you have been called to complete an IME, there are a few things you should know.

What is an IME in a Workers’ Comp Case?

If you have sustained a workplace injury and are in the midst of a workers’ compensation claim, you may find yourself requested to complete an Independent Medical Examination (IME). 

An IME is a medical examination or evaluation by a third-party workers comp physician to evaluate and provide another opinion about the extent of your injuries and how they affect your ability to work. 

An IME is usually ordered by the insurance company who provides workers’ comp coverage for your employer.  The IME serves as a way for the insurance company in a workers’ compensation claim to assess the validity of your claims, and possibly to counter the claimed extent and effect on the wage-earning capacity of the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident.

What Kinds of Questions Will I Be Asked in a Workers’ Comp IME?

The physician conducting the IME will be provided with any medical records or documentation about your injuries.  The IME doctor will then conduct their own medical examination.  Some of the questions that may be asked during an IME include:

  • What symptoms or injuries did you notice before, during, and after the workplace accident?
  • Did you have a pre-existing condition prior to the workplace accident? Did you have symptoms from this pre-existing condition that was present at the time of the accident?  Were any injuries or symptoms of your pre-existing condition aggravated from the accident?
  • Are there any restrictions on your ability to work from your injuries? Did the accident or injury result in any permanent disability?
  • How has your injury or accident impacted your daily life? Are you able to do normal activities?
  • Do your injuries require further treatment, such as physical therapy, surgery, or specialized treatment?
  • What did your treating workers’ comp physician diagnose you with? What treatment did he or she recommend?

What Should I Say or Not Say at the IME?

You may be worried how your answers to questions at your IME will affect your workers’ comp case.  Maybe you are thinking of talking up certain symptoms or downplaying your ability to do daily activities. 

First and foremost, always tell the truth!

It’s important to be completely honest at your IME and tell the truth about anything you are experiencing.  Defense teams and insurance companies make it their priority to deny or limit coverage in workers’ comp claims. 

They are skilled at finding any inconsistencies in your statements and symptoms, and they may use those inconsistencies to attack your credibility.  It’s important to always tell the truth about all symptoms, prior injuries or conditions, or developments you have so that the IME physician can correctly evaluate your condition.  Your case is not doomed because of an insurance company’s interpretation of your truthful responses.

Don’t rely on the insurance company to evaluate your workers’ comp claim.  A skilled New York Workers’ Compensation attorney can help guide you through the workers’ comp process from filing a claim to obtaining the proper recovery you are owed. 

If the insurance company tries to dispute your claims after an IME, an expert workers’ comp attorney can interpret the IME in your favor so that you aren’t denied what you are rightfully owed.

Let an Experienced Workers' Comp Attorney Guide You

Workers’ comp claims and the process that follows are difficult, and defense teams and insurance companies are not usually on your side.  Don’t handle this difficult process alone.  Let someone with a knowledge of New York Workers’ Compensation Law and the experience with workers’ comp claims and the court system help you navigate your next steps to make a successful case on your behalf.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, the sooner you call a Workers’ Comp Attorney in New York, the better.  We will evaluate your medical records, the facts in your case, and the law to make sure you get everything you deserve.