After you file your claim, the insurer may require that you see a doctor of their choice. They may have you see a doctor of their choice from time to time thereafter as well. The insurer is allowed to send you to their doctor or specialist every 6 months. This doctor will provide the insurance company with a report of your condition. Contact an attorney if the adjuster is telling you to attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME) when there is nothing independent about the examination. Please keep in mind, the Insurer will try to select a doctor that will have their best interest, rather than your health.
Often times, the doctors who perform these independent examinations are employed as independent contractors. 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. Also keep track of the length of your appointment. Note the amount of time spent discussing your medical history versus the amount of time spent on the actual examination. The discussion regarding your medical history is often only a few minutes long.
In conclusion, this another situation in which an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can be helpful. Advise your attorney of any independent examinations you are asked to attend. Your attorney may be able to give you information regarding the particular doctor and/or advice on what to look for during the examination. It is also helpful to bring someone with you to the examination. This person can be a witness to your observations. Although they are not always permitted in the examination room with you, they can confirm the length of the appointment.