Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Independent Medical ExaminationMarch 20, 2017
When a person is injured on the job, the decision to seek Workers’ Compensation benefits is often difficult. He or she may worry that the claim will be denied, or that the money recovered will not be sufficient for daily living expenses. Therefore, many workers will return to work before they are physically able – and forego the appeals process – simply to resume their regular pay schedule. Workers that return to work too soon put themselves at risk of further injury. When an independent medical examination (IME) is requested, injured employees must keep the appointment, and be prepared to advocate strenuously on their own behalf if necessary.
An IME can take place at various stages of the Workers’ Compensation process. Following an initial injury and before a claim is approved, an employer’s insurer may order an IME to determine whether the injury is serious enough to justify time off from work. At other times an IME is ordered to determine whether an already-approved claim should continue, or to determine whether a request for additional services is warranted.
Under either scenario, the IME will not be conducted by the employee’s treating physician. Instead, the IME will take place at the office of a physician hired by the employer’s insurer. The findings in an IME can and often will be used against an employee if the examining physician concludes that the employee has fully recovered from their injuries, or that the injuries do not serve as an impediment to work. The employee must be prepared to demonstrate the extent of the injury and speak honestly about any physical limitations and ongoing pain. It is also important to keep record of all available supporting medical documentation including films and lab reports.
Keep All Medical Appointments
Failure to attend a scheduled IME can have dire consequences. Injured employees who were already receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits will see those benefits immediately come to an end. Injured workers who had not yet secured an approved Workers’ Compensation claim will most likely have their claim denied with little hope for a reversal.
In many cases, an IME can and should be challenged. When the IME results in a finding that an injury is no longer work-prohibitive, an experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer can seek to have the determination overturned. A hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Commission can be requested, at which time an injured employee can present evidence which bolsters their claim for benefits.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Successfully Appeal Denied Claims
If you or a loved one has suffered a work injury in Maryland, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. Our experienced team of litigators will investigate your claim and assist in all aspects of the Workers’ Compensation process, including an IME. Call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation at our offices in Baltimore, where we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding area.