Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers are familiar with the tactics and strategies used by employers and their insurance companies to deny benefits to injured employees. Often, medical treatment and initial diagnoses serve as the foundation for challenging an injured employee’s claim for benefits. The insurer selects a doctor for an initial examination of the employee, and according to the law, the employee must submit to this examination, despite the fact that it is not truly impartial.
According to workers’ compensation laws, reasonable requests for an exam by an insurance company doctor must be heeded. Known as an “Independent Medical Examination” (IME), this initial examination is not treatment, and the insurance company cannot charge claimants for this visit. Additionally, the insurer should reimburse the claimant for reasonable travel expenses. Once the claimant has completed their IME, they choose the doctor who will treat them for their health problem.
An “IME” is performed by a doctor who is not necessarily going to serve as the injured employee’s treating doctor. In uncomplicated cases, the insurance company may not request that an employee undergo this examination It is important to understand that an IME is not necessarily independent, since the doctor has been selected by the insurance company, and the report is intended to allow the insurer or the employer to deny or support the claim for compensation.