Independent Medical Evaluation (IME)
Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer
In some workers’ compensation cases, injured workers may undergo an independent medical evaluation (IME). Depending on the results, the workers’ insurance company or employer may terminate important benefits or the case altogether. It’s important to have strong legal help if this is the case.
At Leonard Law Group, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have years of experience and have an established track record of success in handling workers’ compensation cases. Since 1995, we’ve recovered more than $500 million for our clients. Let us be the team you trust to help with your IME.
For client convenience, we offer free second opinion case reviews and Spanish-speaking legal services. Call (312) 487-2513 today to learn more about your legal options.
What is an Independent Medical Evaluation?
An IME is a medical visit with a specialist of the insurance company's or employer's choosing. 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 governs independent medical evaluations.
Important notes about independent medical evaluations in Illinois are:
- Attendance at an IME is mandatory. Failure to attend or late arrival and cancellation will result in benefit suspension until the IME is rescheduled and attended.
- The injured worker’s benefits are reinstated when the examination takes place until the doctor’s report is tendered to the injured worker.
- The injured worker should bring all diagnostic films to the visit, such as MRI's, X-rays, and CT scans.
- The IME doctor can be located anywhere and, in some rare cases, an IME visit can require plane travel if the injured worker moves out of state after an injury.
- The injured worker must be paid a travel check to attend the IME.
- The prevailing mileage reimbursement rate in Illinois in 2020 is 57.5 cents per mile.
- The insurance company or employer can stand on the opinions contained in the IME report to terminate benefits or deny the injured workers’ case.
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 they were chosen by the insurance company or your employer. However, all transportation to and from the evaluation must be provided. You are also eligible to receive benefits between the time when the exam takes place, and the doctor delivers their medical diagnosis.
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.
Get Ready for an IME with Our Help
How an IME unfolds will greatly affect your workers’ compensation case and benefits. Make certain you are ready for it by teaming up with Leonard Law Group in Chicago. We’re here to walk you through every step along the way and to ensure that you feel confident in your chances of success.
Have you attended an IME and have your benefits been terminated following said examination? Contact Leonard Law Group for an immediate consultation.