An independent medical examination, or an IME, is a formal medical exam that is used in evaluating the extent of an injury that happened in the workplace. If you have filed a claim request from your insurance company, they will require you to submit to an IME to continue with the process.
These independent medical exams are often requested when:
- The doctor treating you determines partial or total disability
- Your negotiations with a claim’s adjuster are becoming too costly or take too long
- Your insurance company doesn’t agree with the physician’s findings
Although insurance companies make this out as a request, you should work to submit your IME as failure to do so will lead to your workers’ compensation claim being denied. Since there are many steps involved in filing such a claim, you must do everything right to avoid denial.
Your IME is particularly crucial since the appointment is a major deciding factor in whether or not your claim will proceed. To increase the chances of success, here are the 3 most important things you should avoid saying to your doctor during an independent medical examination.
1. Avoid Lying to Your Physician
Many people would recommend that you lie in your IME to have the highest chance of passing it. Being the best law firm for workers’ compensation in Minnesota, we at Osterbauer Law Firm believe that the golden rule to follow is simply to not lie.
You’ve already been injured while doing your job and you wish to obtain the benefits you deserve to at least cover the cost of your treatment and therapy if necessary. Although it can be tempting to overemphasize your situation, you must stick to the facts and stay true to your story.
It’s also common to think that your insurance company will likely deny your workers’ compensation claim if you have existing health problems listed in your medical record. Despite not being true, you still need to be ready to describe the circumstances that led to your previous or existing health concern.
You should be prepared to explain to the doctor how the pain from your old injury nothing is like what you are currently feeling with the new one. We believe that this is the key here and if you can do that, there’s no reason why you should lie about an old injury.
Additionally, you shouldn’t omit details regarding the accident. You want to ensure that the way you recount the accident stays consistent with the facts you give to your physician and insurance adjuster.
It can be tempting to leave out details that can make you look bad but, trust us, you shouldn’t. Workers’ compensation doctors are trained in pinpointing inconsistencies, which can jeopardize your claim if they see that you aren’t telling the whole story.
That’s why we highly suggest that you stay honest from the beginning up to the end when pursuing your workers’ compensation.
2. Avoid Exaggerating Your Symptoms
You want your doctor to notice your symptoms, but you don’t want to exaggerate them. As stated earlier, workers’ compensation physicians are well-trained in spotting false displays of suffering and embellished claims.
During your independent medical examination, the doctor is going to perform a series of tests to diagnose the cause of your discomfort, pain, and suffering. A few of these tests are meant to gauge your response or lack thereof.
Some people might believe that exaggerating their symptoms during the interview process will improve their chances of getting a higher payout for their workers’ compensation. As an experienced workers’ compensation law firm, we know that this is simply not true.
When you exaggerate, your doctor may think that you aren’t being fully truthful to them, which could be a big reason why they will deny your claim. These doctors have a high degree of intuition with their many years of experience handling these issues. Apart from that, they also use advanced diagnostic and medical instruments that will reveal the truth.
Simply put, if you want to have the best chance of claiming your insurance benefits, you should be honest when discussing your symptoms with the physician.
3. Avoid Speaking Negatively about Your Employer
You want to avoid being difficult or rude to deal with, especially when talking about your employer. Although it is natural to have some bitterness or resentment as an injured employee, you don’t want to indulge these feelings and speak negatively about your employer during the IME.
Speaking ill about anyone can affect your exam’s outcome negatively. Furthermore, the bad things that you say could find their way into the official report, casting doubt on your case overall. Instead, you want to give your physician a good impression of you and bring them to your side.
A good rule to follow is to think that anything you tell your doctor during the exam might be reported to the insurance company as well as your employer.
Ensuring the Highest Probability of Success for Your Claim
As a law firm that specializes in workers’ compensation, Osterbauer Law Firm has handled and become successful with numerous cases. If you’d ask us for one piece of advice on how to go about your independent medical examination, it’s that you should be honest with your physician.
When you get the IME, you want to avoid saying anything that isn’t true or discuss subjects that can result in your claim’s denial.
To recap everything, we’ve talked about in this post, these are the three things you shouldn’t tell your workers’ compensation doctor:
- Avoid exaggerating anything regarding your symptoms
- Avoid being negative or rude when talking about your employer or in general
- Avoid telling lies and stick to the facts
By following these three tips, you’ll help position yourself in a way that can increase the chances of your workers’ compensation claim being approved.
Although the procedure for filing a workers’ compensation claim can be time-consuming and difficult, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your success. Fortunately, there are also professionals who can help walk you through and handle the process so you don’t have to go at it alone.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with proper guidance so your case will succeed.
At Osterbauer Law Firm, we can provide you with experts in workers’ compensation law whenever you need them. Our attorneys have worked with countless cases of injured workers and have helped them receive the compensation they deserve.
If you are looking for the best law firm for workers’ compensation in Minnesota, then you’ve come to the right place. Call us now at 612-334-3434 for a free consultation.