As I have written previously, in Nebraska, you have the right to choose your family doctor to treat you for your work injury. For purposes of the workers’ compensation court, that person becomes your “treating doctor.” However, sometimes an employer or insurance provider selects a non-treating doctor for an “independent medical examination” (IME). According to the workers’ group National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers (NAIDW), IMEs are used for three reasons:
- “to determine the cause, extent and medical treatment of a work-related or other injury where liability is at issue”
- “whether an individual has reached maximum benefit from treatment”
- “whether any permanent impairment remains after treatment”
When an IME is scheduled, this probably means your employer or the insurance company is trying to fight some aspect of your workers’ compensation benefits. An IME doctor frequently bases his or her findings on what is often a very brief visit with a patient. Sometimes they don’t even perform a physical examination before rendering their opinion. Rarely do they issue opinions that are favorable to an injured worker. For that reason, when an examination like this is scheduled, my policy is to Continue reading
Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.