One question I get asked from clients is “Does my insurance company have a right to make me see their doctor?”
Yes, but only once for a one time evaluation. You have a right to treat with any doctor you chose as long as you exercise it before you have surgery and within 6 months of your injury. It is critical to get an attorney early in a case to help navigate through the medical treatment process before it is too late and you get stuck with a doctor who favors employers and insurance companies.
An Employer Medical Evaluation ( EME) is a one time appointment with a doctor chosen by the Employer and Carrier to analyze, evaluate, and summarize the medical status of an injured worker. An Independent Medical Evaluation ( IME) is very similar, but with the difference being that for an IME, the doctor is chosen either by the Judge or by agreement of the parties, and is supposed to lend an impartial eye when evaluating and determining a person’s medical status. Employers have the right to one Employer Medical Evaluation in each case, whereas IMEs have to be either agreed on by the insurance company and the injured worker’s attorney, or appointed by a judge. No matter what type of evaluation you are sent for, it is important to remember that doctors are skilled professionals. Many injured workers think that by exaggerating their symptoms from their work injury, they will have a better case. However, doctors are often able to tell whether or not the symptoms you are complaining of correspond with objective findings such as CAT scans, MRIs, and x rays. The most important thing to remember when going for evaluation is to not try to exaggerate your symptoms. Being truthful and honest with how you feel will speak for itself. Doctors are trained in being able to tell what symptoms “make sense”, and if your exaggerated symptoms do not, they may document their doubts in reports which your attorney, the insurance carrier’s attorney, and the Judge assigned to your case will all see.
Caroline Scott Hommell
If you are scheduled for an IME/EME and need advice on how to proceed, contact Chhabra and Gibbs at 601-948-8005 or go to our website at http://cglawms.com