How to Prepare for an Independent Medical Exam in a Florida Workers Comp Case

After a Clearwater workers comp lawyer helps you file your claim, you can expect to be scheduled for an independent medical exam. This is a second opinion on the extent and severity of your injuries, which the insurance company has the right to demand.

You cannot refuse to attend the independent medical examination. If you do, the insurer will deny your claim and there are no alternative options for obtaining workers comp benefits. Instead of worrying about it, you should prepare yourself for the medical exam by following the tips in this article.

How Many Independent Medical Exams Do You Have to Undergo?

One of the ways in which insurers try to trick injured workers is by scheduling them to various doctors with different specialties. In this way, the workers comp insurance company may try to uncover any pre-existing conditions that they can use to deny your claim.

However, this practice is illegal and an experienced lawyer will put an end to the attempt very quickly. Under Florida law, both the employee and the employer have the right to request one independent medical exam per accident – not per medical specialty.

Thus, if you broke an arm or a leg, the insurer has the right to send you to an orthopedist for an examination. But they cannot order you to submit to a cardiology exam or a neurological exam, as well.

Get the Facts about Your Accident in Clear Order in Your Mind

Preparation for the independent medical exam starts at home, over a few days before the appointment. Spend this time putting order in your memories of the accident. Try to remember with as much precision as you can the sequence of events and the timing.

Use your previous statement in the First Report of Injury form and your medical records to aid your memory. The reason for this is that the independent exam doctor will ask you many detailed questions about your accident. Any discrepancies with prior statements will appear in their report and draw the insurance adjuster’s attention.

Be Cooperative and Polite

You know that the independent examination doctor is not on your side. They will try to state that your injuries are not as severe as the initial examination indicated. They may even say that you can perform a light-duty job while you recover.

However, this does not mean that you have to be uncooperative and aggressive. On the contrary – failure to act like a regular patient will be noted in the report and hurt your chances of getting workers comp benefits.

Workers Compensation Independent Medical Exam

Do Not Exaggerate Physical Limitations and Pain

One of the most important aspects a Clearwater workers comp lawyer advises is to avoid faking too much pain or physical limitations. You are being examined by an experienced doctor. They will know immediately that you are exaggerating your symptoms and will write just that in their report. This is exactly what the workers’ comp insurance needs to deny your claim.

Do Not Lie about Pre-Existing Conditions

At the beginning of the independent medical exam, the doctor will ask you about your medical history. They will ask if you have any pre-existing medical condition or suffered a significant accident in the past (back injury, broken leg, etc.).

Although you know that the insurance company will try to reduce or deny your claim based on this fact, do not lie. Once you have an open claim, the insurer can and will access some of your medical records and discover the existence of old injuries and health problems.

Your lie will be the argument they need to deny your claim and put up a strong fight when you appeal it.

Bring a Friend with You

Although the doctor should act professionally and be honest in their independent medical exam, sometimes they choose to forego these obligations in favor of higher pay from the insurance company. It is always recommended to have a witness with you to support your claim that the doctor was unfair or even dismissive of your injuries and pain.

While the witness cannot interfere in any way and make any remarks, they can take notes and write down what the doctor says and does.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Clearwater Workers Comp Lawyer!

If you have any doubts and worries about the upcoming independent medical exam, share them with your Clearwater workers comp lawyer. The attorney will help you understand what happens during the exam and when a doctor may be overstepping their authority.

Call us today to schedule a free case review at 954-324-COMP and start your claim!

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