You just got injured while working. After filing a claim for workers’ compensation, you think about what will happen after this work-related injury. Your employer will insist that you get an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This is due to incredible annual salaries from employers and the Ohio Bureau of Workers ‘Compensation (BWC). Ohio workers’ compensation claims request these IMEs when an employee is injured.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 5,333 workers died from work-related injuries in the United States in 2019, up 2% from 5,250 in 2018. The rate of fatal work-related injuries was 3.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (FTE), which was reported in 2018.
What Is an IME for Ohio Workers’ Compensation?
Independent medical examination is a regular practice in workers’ compensation cases related to an injury. These examinations are executed by qualified doctors after the injured employer requests them to be examined. The IME is designed to determine if your injury occurred while on duty, if you need certain medical treatment when you must return to work, and if the injury will result in a permanent disability.
How Do You Prepare for an IME?
Here are some ways we recommend in order to prepare for the IME.
By this, we mean that it is not advisable to wear tracksuits or sweatpants for your formal medical evaluation.
We recommend arriving at least 30 minutes early to complete all the required paperwork.
Examine Your Medical History:
Your doctor will have access to your records, but you should know your history as much as they do.
Do not accentuate your pain or trauma, and don’t be afraid to tell them that something does not hurt. In addition to that, make sure that the story you tell about your injury matches exactly what you wrote in your lawsuit paperwork against your cause.
Most likely, even before you enter the building, someone is watching you. For this reason, do not hesitate and show different emotions in the examination room and then change your behavior outside the examination room. This is inconsistent and can be termed as dishonest behavior that could adversely affect your case.
Please note that the exam can be lengthy. This is simply because the doctor wants to be considerate. Remain calm and polite throughout the test and do not react to the length of the assessment.
Why Are IME Doctors on the Employers’ Side?
Physicians have significant influence over workers’ compensation cases. Your IME can make or break your reasoning. This is especially true when your PCP and your employer’s representative do not come to the same conclusion. But why would the doctor appointed by the company disagree with them?
This is due to a simple conflict of interest. A company-approved physician intends to reasonably serve the interests of the company and not their own or even yours. In these cases, doctors are financially motivated to act on behalf of the employer during such assessment. However, your physician acts on behalf of you, the patient.
What Should I Look for When I See an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Doctor?
In Ohio, injured workers always have the right to choose a doctor to pay compensation to their workers. Take this opportunity and do your research. Choosing a highly skilled workers’ compensation doctor can be of great benefit in your case. Here’s what to look for in the case of your doctor:
- Experience and Skills
- Familiarity and Experience with Your Type of Injury
- Understanding Workers’ Compensation Requirements and Willingness to Protect You
- Acceptability of Ohio Workers Compensation
- Close to Home
What You Should Not Talk About With Your Compensation Doctor:
Some comments or actions are not recommended in front of your workers’ compensation doctor. Here are few things to keep in mind when talking to your examiner at the IME:
- Never say anything that exaggerates your symptoms
- Be honest about your feelings. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to employee compensation
- Describe any relevant previous injuries and do not omit any details of your accident
See an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Specialist:
We have been protecting injured workers throughout the state. We pride ourselves on providing each of our clients with care and attention, no matter how simple or complex your case may be. As a representative of thousands of past clients, it is our experience and performance that will strengthen your Ohio workers’ compensation claim. To schedule a consultation, call us today.