Independent Medical Examination
The workers’ compensation process is designed to provide an employee with benefits in the event that he or she suffers an injury on the job. Receiving your benefits requires filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Although this sounds straightforward, the process may be quite complex in some situations, especially if there is any question about the nature and scope of your injuries. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, skilled Greenville and Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney Patrick E. Knie takes pride in assisting employees throughout South Carolina who have fallen victim to a wide variety of job-related accidents or illnesses.Understanding the Independent Medical Examination in the Claims Process
While some types of job-related injuries resolve in a short period of time, others are far more serious and complicated. If you suffer a serious accident on the job, your life may never be the same. After filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, you will be asked to undergo a series of medical examinations to determine the nature and scope of your injuries. This is a critical step in determining the extent of the benefits that you are entitled to receive.
Under the workers’ compensation system, you have a right to receive medical treatment to address your symptoms. What many employees may not realize is that the employer’s insurance carrier has the ability to decide which physicians and health care providers an injured worker may see. As a result of this relationship, the physicians can negotiate lucrative rates with the insurance company, which technically acts as the doctors’ employer. Ultimately, this means that the physicians serve a dual and sometimes conflicting purpose. They provide a medical opinion to the insurer while also providing the employee with an assessment of their physical condition.
This is significant because the workers’ compensation system allows an injured employee to seek a second opinion through an independent medical examiner (“IME”) in the event that the employee disagrees with the first doctor’s assessment. In an IME, the reviewing doctor will assess the medical records, notes, x-rays, and any other documents and records regarding the employee’s injuries. This physician will also conduct another examination that will serve to either corroborate, refute, or further illustrate the first doctor’s assessment. Finally, other medical experts may be consulted to provide second opinions about radiological scans or other evaluations. If the IME doctor disagrees with the first doctor, a hearing will likely be called so that a conclusion may be reached.Contact a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg
If you have suffered injuries at work, you deserve to receive fair, efficient, prompt, and compassionate treatment. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, we have represented numerous injured workers in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Laurens, Greenville, and Union Counties. Spartanburg and Greenville workers’ compensation lawyer Patrick E. Knie provides a free consultation to discuss your situation and to help you determine which course of action may be appropriate for you. Call us at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up an appointment to explore your options with a workplace accident attorney.