Insurance companies often require an independent medical examination because they want to disprove something in your case.
After a workplace injury in Missouri, you need to inform your employer in writing and wait for them to tell you which doctor to go to. This is because in the state the employer is legally allowed to choose your worker’s comp doctor, a decision which they usually leave for the insurance company.
So why would the same insurance company ask for an independent medical examination? Well, in most cases they do it because they want to disprove something in your case.
What’s an Independent Medical Examination?
An independent medical examination is a review of a person’s condition done by a professional who is considered as ‘objective’ as they have no stake in the issues at hand. This is done to overcome any potential bias of one side.
In Missouri specifically, it’s common for insurance companies to ask for an independent medical examination if your employer allows you to see your own doctor for your worker’s comp treatment. Though they have the right to choose their doctor, some employers won’t object to you seeing your own physician.
However, even if you get treated by the doctor approved by the insurance company, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be asked to take an IME. Your doctor is the only one who can decide what your treatment is, and the insurance company has no say in the matter regardless if they’ve worked with that doctor before. As a result, it is possible for them to disagree with the treatment the doctor prescribes, and ask for an independent medical examination.
Why IMEs May Be Bad News
Though the process itself should not concern you, the reason the insurance company asked for an independent medical examination should give you pause. It’s usually a sign that they are trying to poke holes in your story and disrupt your claim.
There are a few instances in a worker’s comp claim that may lead the insurance company to ask for an IME:
- If the doctor prolongs your at-home stay
- If you need a type of procedure or test that’s not typical in your condition
- If you are up for disability benefits, in which case you need to negotiate a settlement
If you haven’t worked with a work injury lawyer from the beginning of your claim, you should consider reaching out to one when the insurance company asks for an independent medical examination. It could end up not affecting your case at all, but there is no way to be sure, and a lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected.
Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
If the insurance company asks for an independent medical examination, they are likely trying to poke holes in your claim. Get in touch with an experienced Missouri workers comp attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and find out how you should proceed in order to protect your rights.
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