If you were injured while on the job, you may already know that your employer/workers’ comp insurance company will pay for your medical treatment incurred as a result of your workplace injury. However, if the insurance company begins to feel that your medical treatment may be excessive in duration, or if it exceeds the scope of the workplace injury, you may be required to undergo what is known as an Independent Medical Examination (IME). The insurance company may also request that you undergo an IME before any benefits are paid whatsoever.
An IME is conducted by a physician of the insurance company’s choosing; the insurance company has a legal right to request that you participate in this examination. If you fail to comply with the insurance company’s request to undergo an IME, your benefits may be terminated right away. Generally, however, you will not be required to travel an excessive distance for an IME.
If the insurance company requests that you undergo an IME, it is in your interest to contact a reputable, experienced New Jersey workers’ comp attorney who understands the system and who has familiarity with many physicians whom insurance companies use. The workers’ compensation team at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has more than 100 years of combined experience, and we have established ourselves as one of the leading law firms in New Jersey by successfully handling tens of thousands of workers’ compensation cases both in the Atlantic City area and throughout the state.
Why does the insurance company have the right to require me to undergo an IME with a doctor who has no personal knowledge of my injuries?
An IME is one tool that a workers’ comp insurance company uses to investigate liability and determine the following issues:
- Did you sustain an injury?
- Is your injury (and the extent of said injury) as serious as you claim?
- Is your injury consistent with the workplace incident, or is it possible that you suffered your injury under different circumstances (i.e., outside of work)?
While this may seem unfair, the insurance company has an interest in spending as little as possible for each workers’ comp claim. The New Jersey legislature has determined that an IME requirement is reasonable and fair.
Who Pays for the IME?
The workers’ comp insurance company pays for all fees and expenses associated with a requested IME. Sometimes, the insurance company may request that you undergo more than one IME, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, if medical treatment goes on for an extended period of time, an IME may be requested to evaluate whether continued treatment is necessary.
Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love would like to receive more information on IMEs, workers’ compensation settlements, wage loss, workplace injuries, wage claims, and how to receive workers’ compensation benefits, contact our professional attorneys as soon as possible at (888) 675-7607 to schedule your free consultation. We can answer your questions and determine the most efficient way to proceed in order to help you and your family obtain the compensation that you deserve.