When you have been injured on the job, you will soon learn about Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. While these laws are there to protect you in the event of a workplace injury, they also govern your rights. In fact, you basically give up some of your legal rights in a workers’ comp claim. For example, during the workers’ compensation process, you may have to submit to an independent medical examination (IME).
What Is an Independent Medical Examination?
Insurance companies or employers often attempt to minimize benefits paid out to injured employees. One way they do this is to make injured workers submit to an independent exam. This means that you will have to get a medical exam from an independent doctor; however, it is widely known that many “independent” doctors work with the insurance companies do downplay the seriousness of an injury.
Unfortunately, your IME may be anything but independent. While you may be legally required to submit to this exam to receive workers’ comp benefits in Florida, it is important that you know that an IME is generally used to the insurer’s benefit—allowing them to limit your claim payout.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself in an IME?
Because the doctor the insurance company chose might be biased, it is important that you do the following things:
- Act politely and provide honest answers
- Bring someone with you to your appointment to act as a witness
- Contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney
By learning more about an IME and following these tips during a medical examination by an independent doctor, you will increase your chances of having the IME go in your favor. To learn more about the workers’ comp process, please request a free copy of our book, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp: A Simple Guide Through Florida’s Not So Simple Workers’ Compensation System.