3 Tips For How To Handle Your Workers' Compensation Independent Exam

Are you in the process of trying to obtain workers' compensation benefits? If so, an independent medical exam, also known as an IME, may be part of the process. An IME is ordered when there is some dispute or disagreement surrounding the injuries. For example, the employer or insurance company may ask for an IME if they doubt your injuries are work-related. Or your attorney may order an IME if you are appealing a claim denial. An IME can have a huge impact on the outcome of your claim, so it's important to be prepared for the exam. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you head into your IME:

Do not lie or exaggerate. The purpose of the IME is to get an independent and accurate assessment of your injuries. The medical professional will examine you and also ask you about your medical history and how you suffered the injury. The medical professional has no interest in whether you get approved or denied. However, he or she may be on the lookout for lies and inconsistencies.

Resist the urge to make your injuries sound worse than they are. Don't downplay preexisting injuries or exaggerate the severity of your pain. The examiner is an experienced medical professional, so they'll know when your account doesn't make sense. Just tell the truth and be brief in your answers.

Dress appropriately. You want your appearance to align with your account of your injuries and pain. If you suffered an ankle injury, you probably shouldn't show up wearing high heels, even if your ankle isn't in pain that day. Similarly, if your personal doctor recommended that you use crutches, a sling, a brace, or any other medical device, use it that day, even if you think the device isn't necessary. Remember that the examiner will consider all of the information you provide, even if that information comes through non-verbal communication such as your appearance.

Bring a friend. You may want your own account of the examination. You'll likely be allowed to bring a friend, family member, or even your attorney into the exam with you. They can take notes or even record the conversation. Of course, if the physical examination involves private areas of your body, you may wish to ask the friend to briefly step out. However, having someone else in the room taking notes can give you evidence to use should you feel that the examination is misrepresented in later appeal hearings or court appearances.

For more information on how to prepare for your examination, contact a firm such as Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin & Ratliff, L.L.P. An attorney can offer more tips to help you prepare.