Independent Medical Exams

After your claim has been filed and from time to time thereafter, the insurer may require that you see a doctor their choice who will provide them with a report of your condition. These examinations should be within a reasonable distance from your home and appointments should be set up at reasonable times and at reasonable spaced intervals.

Often times, the doctors who perform these independent examinations are employed as independent contractors; therefore, while most are objective, there are some that are prejudiced against the patient and aligned with the objectives of the insurance company instead. To maximize the validity of your examination, inform the doctor of all of your symptoms and keep note of the length of your appointment—even note the amount of time spent discussing your medical history versus the amount of time spent on the actual examination, which is often only a few minutes long.

This is another situation in which an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can be helpful. You should advise your attorney of any independent examinations you are asked to attend, and he or she may be able to give you information regarding the particular doctor and/or advice for what to observe during the examination. It is also helpful to bring someone with you to the examination as a witness to your observations. Although they are not always permitted in the examination room with you, a witness can at least corroborate the length of the appointment.