One of the key steps in a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation process is the independent medical evaluation (IME), which is performed by a doctor who is chosen by the workers’ compensation carrier for your employer.
The insurance company could ask you to undergo the IME to determine: (a) whether you are eligible to receive compensation; (b) what kind of benefits you are entitled to receive; (c) how severe are your injuries; and (d) when you are likely to make a full recovery and can go back to work.
This is why you need to be careful while discussing your injuries with a workers’ compensation doctor in Pennsylvania. The information you provide during the examination can have a significant impact on the claim process.
Questions You Are Likely to Be Asked During an IME
The workers’ compensation doctor who performs the IME will review your medical records and may ask you several questions regarding your injuries or illness. Some of the questions you might be asked during the IME include:
- Did you have any pre-existing conditions prior to your injury or illness?
- What kind of injuries did you sustain at the workplace accident?
- When did you start exhibiting symptoms?
- Are you unable to or do you find it difficult to perform your day-to-day activities and your professional duties as a result of your injuries?
- If you were already treated by a physician for your injuries, what was the diagnosis you received from them?
- What kind of treatment are you undergoing currently?
In addition to this, the doctor might also ask you about the circumstances under which the workplace accident happened.
What Should You Say to Your Workers’ Compensation Doctor?
You should inform your treating workers’ comp physician about: (a) Your pre-existing conditions if any, the medications you are on, and whether the workplace accident has aggravated your pre-existing conditions; (b) the accident and the injuries you suffered, the symptoms you are experiencing, and whether you have pain in different parts of your body; and (c) the physical limitations caused by your injuries and your inability to perform your day-to-day activities.
In some cases, you might not be able to remember or recall all the details about your workplace accident and the injuries you suffered. So, it’s a prudent idea to write down everything – what kind of pain are you experiencing, what makes your pain worse, what makes it better, what causes flare-ups, how often do you experience flare-ups, and so on – in a diary and share it with the doctor during the medical examination.
What Should You Not Say to Your Workers’ Compensation Doctor?
- Do not exaggerate the extent of your injuries or lie about your symptoms. An experienced workers’ compensation doctor can easily spot falsified claims from a mile away. Moreover, they have several tools at their disposal – including highly advanced imaging tests and other diagnostic procedures – to determine whether you are really as hurt as you claim to be.
- Do not exaggerate the extent of the physical limitations caused by your injuries.
- Do not leave out any details about your past injuries or pre-existing conditions.
- Do not leave out any details or lie about the circumstances under which your workplace accident happened.
- Do not skip your IME for any reason.
Let an Experienced Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney Guide You
Any time you file a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will try to pay as little as possible, as it is in their best interest to reduce the value of your claim to the extent possible.
Moreover, they might also misinterpret the physician’s report and persuade you to go back to work before you make a full recovery. To avoid such problems, contact Paula Robinson, Esq., who can guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process and make sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Attorney Paula Robinson, Esq. has been practicing law for more than 33 years and knows how the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania works. If you are injured or disabled as a result of a workplace accident in Pennsylvania, Paula Robinson, Esq. can represent you and help you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Call Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney Paula Robinson, Esq. today at 215-530-7166 or 570-855-9475 for a free evaluation of your case.