Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, injured workers have a right to choose their treating physicians. However, the employer or insurance company also has a right to send you to a doctor called an Independent Medical Examination (IME).
Such an examination by your employer’s physician is to obtain an expert’s opinion regarding your injuries. His or her opinions can include the cause, nature and extent of your injuries. Additionally, the physician may provide an opinion about whether the surgery your treating physician recommended is reasonable and necessary.
Prior to your IME, there are several important things you can do to make sure you are protected. First, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to review your file and make sure you are fully prepared to discuss the work accident, your injuries and course of treatment. An IME is a critical stage of your claim and a failure to attend or be prepared could result in suspension of your workers’ compensation benefits.
Additionally, understand that you should not bear the expense of this examination. You are entitled to the cost of travel to and from the exam as well as lost wages. The time and place of the examination should be convenient for you and you should not have to travel a great distance to the site. After the examination, you will be entitled to receive a timely report which will outline the examiner’s opinions.
In some cases, the IME physician is a “hired gun” by your employer retained to provide opinions that may ultimately justify your employer in not paying for your necessary medical treatment or benefits you are entitled. In order to protect yourself and fully understand your rights as an injured worker, please contact our offices for a free legal consultation.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of work related injuries. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle workers’ compensation claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.