Whether it be a personal injury claim, a worker’s compensation claim, or a claim related to any state of disability, it is always important to obtain independent medical examinations, or functional capacity evaluations, in order to support your claim. Both of these types of medical examinations are focused on your medical condition, as well as your physical limitations, but their individual purposes differ from each other. Before you undergo either of these evaluations, you should inform yourself about what to expect.
Independent Medical Examinations: The Basics
An IME, short for independent medical examination, is always performed by a health care professional whose position is supposed to be a neutral. (Our use of the word “supposed” will be made clearer further below.) As opposed to a regular doctor, who will treat your medical condition in order to help you recover, an IME doctor will only examine you once in order to determine:
• whether you require additional treatment
• whether your ability to work is restricted by your condition
• whether your injury was caused by an accident or a medical condition
• whether you should be considered disabled
While an IME should be neutral in their judgment, they are almost always hired by the insurance company or the defendant’s lawyer which naturally makes them partial to the ones who pay them. Thus, their assessments will oftentimes do nothing but support the arguments and claims of the ones they work for, which can then be used in trial to discredit the plaintiff and undermine the severity of their condition.
In a majority of cases, examinations by an IME are kept short. You will be asked a series of questions, undergo a quick examination, followed by an immediate evaluation of your medical condition. Dependent on the laws in your state and the nature of your claim, you may be allowed to bring along a witness for this part of the examination. The report which stems from this examination will be filed by the IME doctor and include:
• the IME doctor’s diagnoses
• potential work restrictions
• suggested treatment options
• the origin of your injury/medical condition
Since this report is written up by just one doctor, the results may be inaccurate, but this cannot stop your insurer from using it to terminate your benefits or deny your personal injury claim. However, you will become entitled to make use of your appeal rights, should this happen to you. Discuss your case with Injury Lawyer in Brampton to know more the details. They will be able to help you calculate the amount of compensation that you are liable to get.