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What Is an Independent Medical Evaluation for Workers’ Comp?

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your insurance company or your employer might not agree with the medical treatment you are receiving. In some cases, the employer or insurance company may worry that your treatments are too costly, or are too new and untried to be worth the expense. Alternatively, you might be in a position where your doctor and your insurance company’s doctor do not agree on your course of treatment. When this happens, the judge may order an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME).

What is an IME?

An Independent Medical Evaluation is a scheduled medical appointment where the injured worker is evaluated by a doctor chosen by either the employer or the insurance company. The examination will be much like any other healthcare exam, though the worker may be required to bring additional documents to the appointment. Section 12 of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act says that the worker is required to bring all medical documents, such as MRI scans, X-rays, and other important imagery, to the appointment for the doctor’s review.

What To Expect from Your IME

If you have an upcoming IME, you need to know what to expect. The doctor chosen for the evaluation can be located anywhere, so long as he or she was chosen by the insurance company or by your employer. However, all transportation to and from the evaluation must be provided. The worker is also eligible to receive benefits between the time when the exam takes place and the doctor delivers his or her medical diagnosis.

All Independent Medical Evaluations require attendance. You cannot miss the evaluation for any reason, but if you are at all hesitant, you should discuss your situation with your workers’ compensation lawyer.

Typically, an Independent Medical Evaluation is ordered to settle a dispute about the worker’s healthcare. In most cases, these disputes are raised by the insurance company or the employer, though the IME can be ordered by a judge if the medical opinions presented in the case are conflicting or unclear. In some cases, an IME can result in a loss of benefits or a change to the injured party’s medical treatment. In any case, if you have had an IME and your workers’ comp was altered as a result, our firm is prepared to help.

Contact Leonard Law Group to discuss your case with our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.