If you suffer an injury at work, you’ll be required to seek an independent medical evaluation in order to file for compensation. This exam is crucial for determining and documenting the extent of your injuries, because injury severity plays a significant factor in your award amount. Because of this, it’s very important that you get an accurate exam. Below, we share some tips to help ensure that your independent medical exam is as accurate as possible.
Keeping Your Medical Exam Accurate
Here are some ways to ensure you get a thorough and accurate evaluation from your treating physician.
1. Don’t Exaggerate – Statistics show that a large portion of employees and patients exaggerate their symptoms when speaking to their doctor. Whether this is done to help a doctor understand the extent of your injuries or as a way to potentially inflate your injury award amount, you should never exaggerate your symptoms during this evaluation. Your doctor will be able to get an accurate diagnosis through a physical exam and imaging tests, and if what they are seeing doesn’t match up with your description of symptoms, they may put that in your report. Documentation of potential symptom embellishment can greatly impact your award amount. Trust that your doctor will be able to make an evaluation based on your true symptoms alone.
2. Don’t Lie – Similarly, you should never lie about how the accident occurred or what symptoms you’re experiencing. Not only can this decrease your award amount, but it can lead to full rejection of any injury award. Again, your doctor is going to be able to tell if you’re lying, so don’t complain about neck or back pain because you think it can add dollars to your claim. Medical imaging won’t lie, and on top of that, it will become more difficult to keep your story straight if you have to keep track of your lies. You have a lot more to lose than gain if you lie about your injuries, so don’t do it.
3. Be An Open Book – Don’t try to be tough and minimize your injuries. If your injuries go undocumented, you won’t be compensated for them. Also, be sure to disclose your past medical history and relevant injuries. If you injured your knee back in college and then injured it decades later on the job, let your IME doctor know about this. It will only help determine the true extent of your injuries and help you get all the compensation you deserve.
4. You Don’t Need To Be Definitive – Finally, know that you don’t need to give definitive answers if you’re unsure about an injury. Don’t just give answers that you feel your doctor wants to hear. Saying that you don’t know or that pain isn’t always constant are perfectly acceptable answers. If you’re unsure about anything during the IME, ask questions or ask for more clarification from the physician.
For more tips about getting an accurate medical exam or for help with your workers’ compensation claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office today.
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