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The Do’s and Dont’s of Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs)

There are several technical rules surrounding these exams, but the basics are:

  • It must be arranged in the same County in which you live.
  • It must be performed by a “like” physician (chiropractor, orthopedist, etc).
  • You must receive notice of this exam within seven business days.
  • If you live out-of State, it must be performed reasonably close to your home.

Although you are permitted to record or videotape the exam, you should always advise the doctor of your intentions.

Do’s:

Always be on time.
Always be respectful (despite the fact that this is an insurance company exam).
If asked to complete a questionnaire, be thorough and honest, (especially if you have any related pre-existing injuries). Request copies of anything you have completed and signed.
Always request and bring  copies of the most recent reports from your doctor, especially if they are seeking authorization for surgery or testing.
Dress respectfully.
Volunteer as many details of your daily symptoms and problems as time allows.
Advise the IME of any tests or surgery that are being requested.

Dont’s:

Do not be confrontational.
Do not record this exam without consulting with your attorney first. It sometimes makes the IME confrontational.
Do not volunteer any details about your case, such as your weekly rate, or what your expectations are concerning returning to work.
Do not exaggerate your symptoms.
Do not volunteer any details of your personal life unless questioned.  These questions should only be relevant to activities of your daily living habits.
Do not act any differently when walking to your car after the exam  Often times the IME will be observing you after the exam.
Do not get upset with the shortness of this exam.  They are usually only 5-15 minutes in duration.

The bottom line is this is your employer’s insurance company.  They are a necessary aspect of your case.  Obviously, they will lean towards the insurance company, but will often approve medical procedures, and concede a high level of disability if they have current reports and you are open and respectful towards them Do not cancel your examination without re-scheduling with the insurance adjuster.

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