No one wants to suffer a workplace injury, but if you do, you need to be sure that you do everything you can to ensure the success of your claim.
As part of the worker’s compensation process, you may have to have an independent medical examination to ensure that your claim is accepted. While there is nothing for you to worry about, we have five tips to help you get the most out of your appointment.
1. Be Truthful for Your Independent Medical Examination
Before you see the doctor conducting the exam, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. Make sure to keep your answers short and to the point. It can be tempting to play up the extent of your injuries, but any differences between your answers and the accident will hurt your chances.
You should also be wary if you are asked to give answers to the same question multiple times, as they may be trying to make you contradict yourself. Worker’s compensation doctors are not treating you, so you have no doctor-patient confidentiality.
If they ask you multiple times, refer them to the questionnaire and politely say that you already answered the question. You should also ask for a copy of the questionnaire for your records.
2. Consistency Is Key to a Successful Claim
Be aware that any answers should match any prior statements you have made and be consistent with any prior accident or medial reports. The doctor conducting the independent medical examination will be writing a report that the insurance company will use to accept to reject your claim. You should avoid asking them for advice and do not offer unnecessary information.
3. Make Sure the Doctor Knows the Current Extent of Your Limitations
If your work injury has led to you developing permanent physical or mental limitations, this can have a big impact on your claim. The larger the level of impairment you have suffered from the accident, the greater the amount of money you could receive for a permanent disability award.
For example, even if the doctor doesn’t ask you directly, you should make sure that they know that you now have issues lifting weights or standing for long periods. If you don’t speak up, you could be at risk of not getting the money you deserve.
4. Look out for Questions About Prior Injuries
Another thing to watch out for is the doctor bringing up prior injuries. If you had a prior back injury years before and then hurt your back at work, the doctor may insinuate that your earlier injury is responsible for your pain.
Take care to delineate between any prior injuries and your current claim. If you made a full recovery and didn’t have any problems for years until your workplace injury, make sure the doctor knows that.
5. Stay Polite and Respectful During the Exam
To have your claim be successful, you will need to make sure to stay calm under questioning. If you act in a way that could be construed as upset or defensive, your case could suffer for it. Ask for clarification on questions you are unsure of and do not lash out under any circumstances.
Follow This Guide and Your Independent Medical Examination Will Go Well
Having to prove the extent of your injury or disability can seem scary and nerve-wracking, but these tips can help you get through it with ease. To learn more about workers’ compensation claims, check out our blog today!