Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Claims – What Is An “IME”?
One of the terms that often comes up in Louisiana workers’ compensation cases is the term “IME”. “IME” usually is used in the course of determining an injury and when there is a dispute as to whether the worker suffered a coverable injury under workers’ compensation laws. Many questions arise at this stage of the Louisiana workers’ compensation process that workers applying for workers’ compensation will likely want to know. Here we will discuss some of the common questions that come up in Louisiana workers’ compensation cases when it comes to an “IME”.
What is the Definition of an “IME”?
Simply put, an “IME” is an abbreviation for “Independent Medical Examination”. This is a third-party medical examination that is conducted by an independent doctor when there is a dispute between the injured worker’s doctor and the employer’s insurance company’s doctor as to the workers’ medical condition.
What Happens at an IME?
An IME is another medical examination, performed by a doctor independent of the employer or injured worker. The IME selected doctor will review an injured workers’ medical records and perform a medical examination, then will write a report regarding the alleged injury. The report will be submitted in the course of the workers’ compensation case, and may be the “tie-breaker” when it comes to determining the injury.
Is an IME on the Injured Workers’ Side?
It is important for injured workers pursuing workers’ compensation in Louisiana to understand that an IME doctor is an independent doctor that may have been requested by the workers’ compensation insurance company. The IME doctor is supposed to be a neutral third-party, and is not on the workers’ side or advocating for the worker to get workers’ compensation coverage. It is also important to note that the IME doctor has not examined the worker before and, therefore, will review the medical records and the worker “at first glance.”
Is the Injured Worker Responsible for Paying for the IME?
Simply put, no. An injured worker is not responsible for paying for an independent medical examination. The cost of an IME is passed on to the workers’ compensation insurance company. If a worker who has undergone an IME receives a bill from the IME, the injured worker should immediately contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Help with Independent Medical Examinations in Louisiana
When an employer’s doctor disputes a workers’ injury, especially when the worker’s doctor confirms it, it can be incredibly frustrating for an injured worker seeking workers’ compensation benefits. A further medical examination, especially one performed by a doctor unknown to the injured worker, can be a stressful and confusing process to navigate without help. An experienced Louisiana & Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured worker navigate their IME and knows the ins-and-outs of the IME process. If you have been injured at work and are seeking workers compensation benefits in Louisiana, or you have questions about your IME, contact the experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe today for a consultation.