Suffering a workplace injury can wreak havoc on your life. The treatment that you need might be extensive, which can be extremely costly, even if you have insurance. Making matters worse is the fact that you’ll be unable to work and earn your wage, which means that you can be left in a dire financial predicament.
Fortunately, you might be able to alleviate these losses by seeking out workers’ compensation benefits. But as you do so, you might find yourself frustrated by the process. That’s why it’s oftentimes best to have guidance throughout this process, which may come from an experienced attorney.
The independent medical examination
One aspect of your workers’ compensation claim that you need to be prepared for is the independent medical examination. This evaluation tends to be required by an insurance company and involves your injuries being assessed by a third-party medical professional. The hope is that you and the insurance company will then receive an unbiased opinion about your medical condition, your prognosis, your need for treatment, and your ability to work.
Keep in mind that the doctor who is contracted to perform your independent medical examination is not responsible for your ongoing care. This means that he or she knows little to nothing about you, which could put you at a disadvantage.
How to prepare
The good news is that you can prepare for your independent medical examination. To do so, consider doing each of the following:
- Gather your medical records and be prepared to present and discuss them
- Anticipate the questions that the doctor might ask and practice responding to them in a clear and concise manner
- Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment so that you’re not flustered by the stress that you’re feeling
- Be respectful and honest during your appointment with the examiner
- Remember the purpose behind the independent medical examination
With this last point, it’s helpful to keep in mind some of the questions that the examiner is seeking to answer. Amongst them are:
- Has your condition been properly diagnosed?
- Is the course of treatment that has been prescribed to you appropriate for your condition?
- Was your condition caused or exacerbated by your work?
- Are there other factors outside of work that could have impacted your condition?
- Is additional testing needed to determine the extent of your injuries?
- Are you able to return to work?
- If you’re unable to return to work right now, what is needed to get you back to work?
The answers to these questions can be key to your worker’s compensation benefits. That’s why preparation is crucial if you hope to get through the independent medical examination process in a way that protects your interests. After all, the opinion of the independent medical examiner could lead to the cessation of your benefits.
Protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits
There’s a lot on the line with your workers’ compensation claim. After all, if you miss out on these benefits, then you could be left without the financial resources that you need to obtain medical treatment and secure stability while you recover.
That’s why you may find that it’s best to work through your workers’ compensation case with the assistance of a skilled legal professional. An attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law may be able to help you navigate your claim so that you can achieve the outcome that you need and deserve.
If that sounds like the kind of advocacy that you’d want on your side, then now is the time to research your representation options and choose the one that is right for you.