In most states, if you are hurt at work and submit a claim for workers’ compensation with your employer, your employer will hire one or more doctors to evaluate your injury. These doctors may suggest that you should return to work as soon as possible. That is because by so doing, they are likely to receive favors from your employer. In some situations, people disagree with these doctors’ opinions and want an independent medical evaluation Pittsburgh, PA conducted by a doctor of their choice.
What is an independent medical evaluation?
Independent medical evaluation, or IME, is a report written by a licensed physician who has not been engaged by the worker’s compensation insurance company or the patient. The IME can be requested by either side in the workers’ compensation claim and is used to give an opinion on the patient’s injuries and disability rating.
How are IMEs conducted?
IMEs are usually conducted in two parts. These include physical examination and mental status examination. During the physical examination, the doctor will ask questions about the accident and how it occurred, then physically examine you for injuries, including scars and other marks after healing. They will also check your strength, range of motion, and ability to perform daily activities like walking, showering, or getting dressed.
Why is IME needed?
Ensure you resume work when fully recovered
If you have been injured at work, it is only logical you return to work when you are recovered from your injury. Unfortunately, it is common for those doctors hired by your employer to ask you to resume work before you are fully healed. That is because they believe they may receive more money from the company if they do so. However, this type of pressure could cause your health to deteriorate further and lead to even more problems in the future.
You get to know the actual status of your health
An IME aims to determine what injuries you have sustained and how those injuries will affect your life. The doctor who performs the IME does not work for the insurance company, so they do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the case or even in whether or not you are injured. Instead, the doctor’s sole purpose is to evaluate your injury and come up with a fair assessment of how it will affect your life moving forward.
It helps set the record clean about work-related injuries
IMEs are commonly used in worker’s compensation cases when there is confusion about what conditions are related to workplace injury and which conditions are not. IME physicians typically experience workplace injuries and have access to records from treating physicians who have already seen the patient. They will review all records before assessing whether a condition was caused by work injuries.
IME report is necessary when you want to prove your injuries. The fact that it will be done by doctors practicing in the field makes it a more authoritative document, and the insurance company must admit that they are not the doctor, so they can not dispute the facts they will find out there. Also, it is very useful if you have many injuries and want to show them because, with multiple injuries, it is sometimes hard to explain how they occurred. If you have filed a workplace injury claim, liaise with an independent medical evaluation specialist from Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center.