Being injured on the job is a serious matter. Within some states, your employer controls where you go to get medical help as long as it is considered valid. You will get help from a “posted panel of physicians. “ A posted panel of physicians is a list of doctors ranging in specialties that are approved by your employer as doctors that at you may visit on the company’s dime. Sometimes, these doctors show favor to employers. They give an employee a clean bill of health, yet the employee has to have surgery because of the injury not long after being cleared.
Some states have passed legislation that allows workers to choose to have an independent medical exam. They called it the “claimants IME” and with this, the employee can ask for an exam done by a doctor of his or her choice, which the employer’s insurance has to pay for. If this independent exam is used properly, it can refute an unfair claim, argue against a premature work return, support changing to another doctor, or give a reason to try for a settlement. If an IME is requested, it needs to be used effectively.
For example, if someone has two body parts that are injured, you need to go to the doctor that deals with the most extensive or prominent injury. The law does not require the employer to pay for more than one IME. This is why choosing what injury is more substantial to handle first is so important. If you find yourself in a workman’s compensation suit, there are things that you need to remember.
You only have one shot to claim an exam paid for by the insurance company. This is why knowing when and how to use it is very important. It is also extremely important who does the exam, so a lot of thought should go into this process. Even if you have multiple injuries, you are only entitled to one independent medical exam. You also need to be aware that the insurance agent is not a good resource to consult about IME advice. This type of advice should come from a lawyer that is experienced in handling workman’s compensation cases.
These are a lot of changes that have been made, so if you plan on filing a workman’s compensation claim, it would be best to seek professional help. It is important to have someone on your side that knows the law and knows how to make it work for you. Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law specializes in these types of case. He provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at their offices in Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Call today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.