If you have received a psychiatric independent mental exam, you may want to review the doctor’s report. You might see a warning on the report saying that it is privileged and should only be reviewed by you in the company of a mental health professional. While it might be a good idea to heed this warning, it is also important for you to know what is in the report because it could affect your case for workers’ compensation benefits.
Why the Warning?
Some doctors place a warning or notice on their reports saying that workers’ compensation applicants review the reports at their own risk. The notice is just to protect the doctors in case the reports distress applicants who choose to read them. Psychiatric or psychological reports in particular can contain very sensitive information about applicants’ mental states and past experiences. Reading them can be stressful, depressing, or angering for some people, especially because benefits are at stake.
As a result, your IME doctor may recommend that you review the report from your psychiatric or psychological exam with a therapist or other mental health professional. You may want to take this advice, or at a minimum share the report with your mental health professional. Check with your lawyer first to make sure you can do this, and discuss the report with your lawyer too.
What Can You Learn from the IME Doctor’s Report?
The IME doctor’s report from a psychiatric or psychological exam contains important information that affects your case for benefits. As you read, look for the doctor’s assessment of:
- If you had a psychiatric injury or diagnosis;
- If the psychiatric injury is considered to be work-related;
- If you are considered to be temporarily or permanently disabled due to the injury;
- If you are eligible for medical treatment, and which treatment; and
- If you can return to work now or later.
Also, be sure to note any inaccurate information and any disagreements you have with anything in the report. Your lawyer may be able to use the inaccuracies to discredit the IME doctor and strengthen your case.
If you do not have a lawyer right now, consider seeking representation. Your attorney can review the IME report with you, develop strategies to address it, and help you pursue your case for benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.