When a workers compensation claim is disputed, the insurer may ask the claimant to undergo an independent medical exam. The person who was injured may feel skeptical about this and worry that the doctor is in the insurer’s back pocket. Workers Compensation Lawyers in Melbourne FL can offer advice on how to handle this request and assist the individual with having the claim approved. They know that an independent medical exam is a commonly requested step in the claims process.
Doctors in these situations do, indeed, act independently of the insurance company. The main reason the insurer wants this exam to take place is to obtain a second opinion from an unbiased source. If the injured individual has been receiving care from his or her own primary care doctor, that physician may be more sympathetic because of an established doctor-patient relationship.
Workers Compensation Lawyers in Melbourne FL can advise clients about what not to discuss with the physician at this exam. The focus should be entirely on the injury and not any extraneous factors. However, if a similar injury had already occurred previously, the patient should expect to provide details about why the new injury is different and was not caused by the previous circumstances. Work incidents that cause back pain can be viewed skeptically by insurance companies, as the claims representatives know that back discomfort can come and go. The individual will need to emphasize the length of time since any symptoms occurred and how the episode at work caused an entirely new problem.
It can be helpful to bring a friend or relative along to the appointment. Even if this acquaintance cannot sit in on the actual exam, both individuals can make notes on what occurred. Mental and emotional support will help the patient to stay calm and not feel anxious. It’s important to have a clear mind and not to become distracted and make statements that could work against the claim for compensation. Attorneys with a law firm such as Matheson, Horowitz & Devonmille can provide other tips on how to turn this independent exam into a positive step.