The Role of Independent Medical Examinations in Maryland Workers’ Compensation Claims

There are various points in the Workers’ Compensation process when the insurance company may want information about your condition. They will not always trust your treating doctor. The insurance company may order an independent medical examination (IME) so their doctor can evaluate you. You must cooperate with the process.

The insurance company may seek an IME in the following circumstances:

  • They question your initial claim and whether you have suffered a work-related injury.
  • They disagree with your doctor’s treatment course or question whether a procedure is necessary.
  • After reaching the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), the insurance company wants to assess the extent of any permanent disability.

The insurance company has the right to order an IME. When they ask for one, you must attend. You do not have the option of declining. If you do, it may severely hurt your case. The court may even be able to compel your attendance at an IME.

The IME Can Present Difficulties for Your Claim

If your case is contested, the IME doctor may be an expert witness for the insurance company. The doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your injuries. They will ask you questions about your symptoms and your condition. They will write an opinion about your condition between the tests and their questions. The insurance company will then use this opinion to decide about your issue. The insurance company may listen exclusively to the IME doctor and not give credence to your doctor’s words.

Be Cautious When Answering Questions at an IME

While you must attend and cooperate with an IME, you also must be careful. The doctor is paying close attention to everything that you say. You may find that your statements may even be taken out of context. At the same time, you also should not try to embellish and persuade the doctor. They have performed many examinations, and they can detect something false. You should stick to the questions that are asked and not try to add anything. The more you try to say, the greater your chance of saying something that may harm your claim.

Your Rights During an IME

When the insurance company asks for an IME, you do have rights, including the following:

  • Being able to have your lawyer present during the IME.
  • The ability to record the IME.
  • Your treating doctor would also be able to testify and give their own opinion for the judge to consider.

It is not always a good sign for your claim or treatment if you have been asked to attend an IME. If you do not have a lawyer, now may be the time to get one. How you navigate the IME could make a difference in your claim.

Our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Can Fight for Your Legal Rights

If you have a complex Workers’ Compensation claim or are experiencing difficulties, contact our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.