Do I Have to Get an Independent Medical Exam in Georgia?
If you sustain a workplace injury, your employer and the workers’ compensation insurer could ask you to take an independent medical examination (IME). The employer or the insurance carrier has the right to choose the doctor, and the examination can include various physical and psychological tests to determine the severity of the injury, how much treatment you may need moving forward, and whether or not you were able to conduct any work at all. Here, we want to examine whether or not you have to get an independent medical examination in Georgia if one is requested of you.
Is the Independent Medical Examination Mandatory?
Workers’ compensation laws in Georgia do say that workplace injury victims will need to submit to an independent medical examination if one is requested by the insurance carrier or employer. If the workplace injury victim fails to attend the IME, then the insurance carrier could request that the Georgia workers’ compensation board suspend benefits.
Tips for Going to an AME
If the insurance carrier or your employer has requested you to undergo an independent medical examination, then just know that it is very likely they are trying to terminate the benefits they’re paying. You cannot decline the IME if you want to continue to receive the benefits, so there are various steps you can take to help with the process.
Bring Your Doctor
You have the right to bring your doctor to your independent medical examination in Georgia. However, please understand that the cost of bringing your own doctor to the IME will fall on you. Having said that, it may be worth paying for your doctor to attend the examination so your doctor could speak to the other doctor based on their history of treating your workplace injury.
The doctor conducting the independent medical examination is not your doctor. You will not have a doctor-patient relationship with the IME doctor. They will record everything and will report the entire examination findings to the insurance carrier.
Contact a Workplace Injury Attorney
We strongly encourage any person who has been asked to undergo an IME to contact a skilled workplace injury lawyer in Atlanta. When you have an attorney by your side, you will have an advocate that can guide you through the process and let you know what to expect in the examination. Additionally, your attorney can investigate the incident and have everything ready to go in the event you need to appeal the termination of workers’ compensation benefits.
Maintain Your Story
We understand that meeting with so many different people about your work injury claim can be tedious. It can even make you nervous. Remember, insurance carriers want to limit how much money they payout for a claim, so they are going to look for ways to trip you up. This can include getting you to alter your story. Talk to your attorney about what to expect, and make sure that you maintain your story about the incident that caused her injury and what you have been through throughout the recovery process.