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The purpose of independent medical exams in workers’ comp claims

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

In the workers’ compensation system of New Jersey, one aspect that often raises questions and concerns among injured workers is the independent medical examination (IME). An IME serves a crucial role in determining the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim, yet many remain unclear about its purpose and implications. If you are thinking about filing a claim for workers’ compensation, how can knowing the IME process help you protect your rights?

Issues that an IME can clarify

An IME is a medical evaluation by a doctor who has not been involved in the treatment of the injured worker. The purpose of an IME is to provide an impartial assessment of the worker’s medical condition. This includes the nature and extent of their injuries, the necessary treatment and the worker’s ability to return to work.

Therefore, an IME can clarify disputed issues in workers’ compensation cases. These issues may include:

  • The cause of the worker’s injuries.
  • The severity of the worker’s injuries.
  • The necessary treatment for the worker’s injuries.
  • The worker’s ability to return to work.

During an IME, the doctor reviews the worker’s medical records and conducts a physical examination. They will also ask questions about the worker’s injuries and symptoms and request additional testing if necessary.

How can an IME impact your claim?

The results of an IME can greatly impact a workers’ compensation claim. If the IME doctor concludes that the worker’s injuries are not as severe as claimed or are not work-related, the insurance company may deny or reduce the worker’s benefits. On the other hand, if the IME doctor supports the worker’s claims, the insurance company may be more likely to approve or continue the worker’s benefits.

Seeking healing and recovery

Understanding the role of IMEs can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claim process. With legal assistance, you may ensure the protection of your rights and interests as you seek to achieve healing and recovery.