Q: What should I do to prepare for my independent medical examination?
When you have been scheduled to attend an independent medical examination, or IME, it is a sign that your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier has questions or doubts about at least one detail in your claim.
While you cannot study for this exam like you would a test in school, it is important—perhaps even more so—to be completely prepared. This can help you ensure that your workers’ compensation claim results in the proper benefits and coverage for your injury.
How to “Study” for Your IME
You have been scheduled to attend an IME because the insurance company has noticed a discrepancy in your claim. The IME is a chance to prove that you should not receive the benefits you are requesting, so it is important to come fully armed with facts and information.
The first thing you should do is review the details of your workplace injury, including how it happened. Hopefully, you have a copy of the incident report that you submitted to your supervisor, as well as information from the emergency room if you went there directly after the incident. This will help link your injury to a specific incident at work.
Next, you must familiarize yourself with your injury, past treatment, current treatment, and current symptoms. Make a list of your surgeries, medical visits, physical therapy, and prescriptions as well as making a detailed list of your symptoms. While many people want to make their injury sound as serious as possible by exaggerating the extent of their symptoms, it is crucial to be honest. It is also important to be accurate, though, so include details of even minor symptoms.
If you have previous injuries or medical conditions, you should also re-familiarize yourself with these past issues. One common complication in workers’ compensation cases is pre-existing injuries that are related to current injuries, so be sure to explain how this injury differs.
Like Any Other Test, Showing Up Is Important
One of the strongest messages you can send walking into your IME is to show up on time, informed and ready. If you haven’t already chosen a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you, being scheduled for an IME is an excellent time to consult with a lawyer. This can help you ensure that you are aware of your rights before attending the appointment, and address any issues that arise as a result.
To discuss your own impending IME, call Houston workers’ compensation attorney Steve Lee today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.