What Is An IME?
Nov. 15, 2022
At John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law we stand by our clients throughout the entire process of a workers’ compensation claim. Such focused advocacy is vital during the independent medical examination stage of any workers’ compensation case. Indeed, IME is often a pivotal point in determining whether the injured worker will continue to receive the voluntary payment of temporary total disability benefits. The opinion of the employer chosen IME physician may also include opinions with respect to the nature and extent of the injured workers’ injuries and whether they relate to the effects of or the aggravating effects of the accidental injuries or manifestation at bar.
The employer’s right to independent medical examination is statutory. If the injured worker is provided with adequate notice and advanced appropriate mileage moneys reflecting travel to and from the IME physician’s office then the injured worker must attend the IME. For, failure to attend a properly scheduled insurance company IME doctor’s appointment will result in the suspension of your benefits. And those benefits will stand no chance of reinstatement until you do attend the next employer scheduled IME appointment.
The Information You Need on An Illinois Independent Medical Examination
At John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law we believe it the better practice to meet with the injured worker before the injured worker’s attendance at an insurance company scheduled IME appointment. It is likely Mr. Lesaganich will have prior familiarity with the doctor to whom the insurance company is sending you. During your pre-IME appointment Mr. Lesaganich will attempt to instruct you on effective communication with the insurance companies doctor. Mr. Lesaganich will also help you select among your medical records those most instructive to the IME physician for presentation to the doctor at the IME.
As will all medical providers involved in a workers’ compensation case the Arbitrator responsible for your case will likely have prior familiarity with the work of the IME physician involved in your case, as well as the various treating medical providers. Arbitrators, as people, can develop attitudes and notions of whether certain doctors are to be viewed as credible. Such attitudes may vary from Arbitrator to Arbitrator. Mr. Lesaganich will likely know from experience how the report of the IME physician involved in your case may influence the opinion of the trial Arbitrator in your case. By the time your IME has been scheduled, if you do not already have the benefit of counsel, it may very well be time to call an experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation trial lawyer.
The number of independent medical examinations the employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company may choose to pay for during the pendency of a workers’ compensation case is without limit, but notions of reasonableness as to the time between IMEs is a factor. Finally, remember that IME is available to the injured worker also. However, an employee scheduled IME does not entitle the injured worker to mileage moneys payable by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company nor is the employer responsible for reimbursement of any wages lost pursuant to attendance at an employee scheduled independent medical examination.
John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law, knows that the IME is a very important tool employers use to suspend benefits and withdraw authorizations. The examination can be a turning point in any workers’ compensation case and serves as vital evidence. So if you find yourself in this situation please contact my office.
Contact our office or toll free to talk with attorney John Lesaganich about your workman’s comp benefits. At our office, initial consultations are always free and confidential. We are located on Main Street in downtown Peoria, across from the courthouse.