What the injured Maryland worker needs to know about the Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) that Workers Comp has scheduled.
For a Free consultation call +1 (410) 937-1659 and speak with Maryland workers compensation attorney Mr. Rodabaugh.
At some point the workers compensation insurance company will schedule you for an appointment with a physician of their choosing for a second opinion. IME doctors are a limited commodity in Maryland and some perform these evaluations more than others. Experienced workers comp attorney recognize these names as soon as they are mentioned because of their relatively regular use by the insurance company. Insurance companies choose these physicians for a reason- Sometimes because they have a valuable opinion, other times because their opinion can be predicted.
- Consider this: If the IME is truly a second opinion then the injured worker should be able to ask for the second opinion from a doctor of their choosing.
- This “workers comp” doctor is hand selected by the Workmans Comp insurance company and paid by the insurance company to offer an opinion as to the medical treatment the treating physician is providing or as to the mechanism of injury.
- These evaluations are also referred to as Dependent Medical Evaluation. Many of the DME physicians are earning an astronomical amount of money to perform the evaluation for the workers compensation carrier. Some of them are dedicated to only performing these DME/IME’s of injured workers which means that their sole source of income is from the workers compensation carrier.
- If an IME has been scheduled by the workers comp adjuster there is a good possibility the injured Maryland employee’s treatment is coming to an abrupt halt. These IME’s are scheduled to help prevent the workers comp insurance company from spending more money on the workers medical treatment. When the IME doctor issues his opinion the adjuster will rely on the opinion and probably stop workers comp payments as well as the treatment the injured employee is receiving under workers compensation. A Maryland workers compensation attorney can help fight the IME opinion.
- Occasionally the IME doctor does opine in agreement with the claimants treating physician.
- IME physicians generally want to issue an opinion that indicates the injured employee is ok to return to work on a full time basis, and that the injured employee does not need any further treatment which would relate to the workers compensation injury. To issue this opinion the IME doctor needs to find some support so he may:
- watch the injured employee walking from his car to the building in hopes to find inconsistent behavior such as a false limp.
- perform artificial physical tests to look for inconsistencies
- apparently evaluate one body part while focusing on the movement of another body part
- ask about prior auto accidents or injuries
- ask about the history of treatment and indicate inconsistencies in his or her report
- The IME/DME is indicative that the work comp insurer is going to start fighting your case. When the insurer stops treatment or compensation payments it is a wise decision to get a free consultation from an experienced and qualified Maryland workers compensation attorney. The insurance company has an attorney why shouldn’t you?
See a WorkInjuryMaryland Blog write up on what happens when the IME doctor indicates you have to return to work.