If you were injured or developed an occupational illness while performing your work duties and are now filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you might be asked to attend an independent medical examination if certain aspects of your injuries are being disputed by your employer or the insurance company that represents them. How you handle this appointment can have a severe impact on your ability to obtain these important benefits, so make sure you are well prepared for it.
Below is a list of some of the things you should avoid saying to the workers’ compensation doctor who conducts your independent medical examination:
1. Do not ask the physician for a diagnosis
Remember, it is not the independent medical examination doctor’s job to provide you with a diagnosis for the injuries you suffered. This is a question for the doctor who is currently treating your injuries. Instead, the independent medical examination doctor’s job is to assess the extent of your workplace injuries and to write up a report for your employer’s insurance company. This examination is strictly about determining whether your injuries are as serious as you claim them to be and if they warrant workers’ compensation benefits, so do not try to elicit a diagnosis from the doctor.
2. Do not exaggerate the symptoms of your injuries or occupational illness
You might think that reporting more serious symptoms to the independent medical examination doctor will help your pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits, but this will only backfire on you. Exaggerating your symptoms will only make you appear dishonest and damage your credibility. Always aim to be as honest and concise as possible during your independent medical examination. Too much is at stake to do anything less.
3. Avoid saying more than you should
The independent medical examination doctor is going to ask you several questions about your injuries or illness and its accompanying symptoms and, once you answer them, you should stop talking and avoid getting overly conversational. No matter how chatty you might feel, or how sympathetic the doctor might appear to be, keep in mind that he or she was hired by the insurance company and is not on your side. If you continue to talk and overshare, you could inadvertently damage your case and derail your chances of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. A comment you might think is completely innocuous and innocent might become your own downfall if you are not careful.
Ultimately, the best way to handle this incredibly vital appointment is by being honest and holding back on any desire you might have to engage in lengthy conversations with the independent medical examination doctor, regardless if you believe that he or she is trying to help. Even if the doctor seems understanding and friendly, never forget that his or her loyalty is to the insurance company that represents your employer, which means that your interests are not aligned.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Santa Ana
If you sustained an injury while performing your job duties, it is imperative that you seek skilled legal representation as soon as possible to ensure you are able to obtain the benefits you deserve and need to help you through this difficult time. At Ufkes & Bright in Santa Ana, our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured workers for over 50 years and would be honored to do the same for you. Backed by a proven track record of success, you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands with our legal team. You should not have to go through this experience on your own or risk not being able to secure these important benefits.
Get started on filing your workers’ compensation claim today and reach out to our law firm at (714) 909-2609 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys. We also provide consultations in Spanish!