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Independent Medical Examinations
We are Illinois lawyers, who since 2001, have been offering legal guidance and attorney referrals to the best workers compensation attorneys in Illinois. Call us at 312-346-5320 or 800-517-1614 to speak with an attorney for FREE and get pointed in the right direction. Or you can fill out our contact form to tell us about your case and we will contact you. All inquiries are free and confidential.
An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is not meant to provide medical treatment but to obtain an impartial assessment from a qualified expert. IMEs are requested by insurance companies when there is some sort of uncertainty surrounding your injury and/or the insurance company wants to deny or reduce your benefits. It’s basically a defense strategy to do whatever they can to save themselves some money. Some of the doctors that perform these exams are reputable, while others are hired guns who will say whatever the insurance company wants them to say.
What is surprising to most injured workers is how short the IME is. In many cases you will be with the doctor for less than five minutes. And quite often it’s not a really thorough exam nor do they ask you a lot of questions regarding the circumstances of your injury, the nature of your pain and how your injury has been impacting your daily activities. The doctor will have likely reviewed your medical history and records and may requests more tests, but often just goes by what the records say. The doctor is tasked with addressing specific questions and concerns posed by the insurance company which can make this feel more like an interrogation than a doctor’s appointment. Remember that they are not your doctor and aren’t looking out for you.
Your participation in an IME is not optional, and it is possible that the insurance company may send a nurse case manager to accompany you. It is important to be honest and avoid exaggerating your injury. We’ve seen cases where the doctor assigns a staff member to monitor how you walk in the parking lot to compare it to how you walk in the office.
If you are scheduled to attend an IME, it is likely that your case has reached a point where obtaining legal representation would be highly recommended. A good attorney can prepare you for the exam. IMEs often indicate a future dispute, likely being that the insurance company is seeking to minimize their financial commitment to your coverage. Having a case already on file with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission allows you to deal with a bad IME result that cuts off your benefits.
We have helped tens of thousands of injured Illinois workers and would love to help you. Please contact us any time at 312-346-5320. We work with great work comp attorneys throughout Illinois who care about their clients and fight for them.