The dreaded IME is the bane of many injured workers in Queensland (incl. Brisbane and the Gold Coast) who are obligated to submit to a medical examination that may “overlook” many facets of a victim’s pain and injuries.
Yet, we cannot avoid this inevitability during the claims process for workers compensation. Fortunately, East Coast Injury Lawyers is happy to provide a few tips to help protect your credibility when you are undergoing such an examination.
- 1) Do not ‘over exaggerate’, but do not be ‘stoic’ either.
Honesty is the key to a successful claim. As such, it is important that an injured worker avoid over exaggerating or lying about their injuries.
However, the honesty argument works on both sides of the spectrum as well. It is important that claimants also remember that an IME is not the time to act “tough” like they would in front of their mates at the pub or at a footie game.
An IME appointment is typically brief (maybe an hour or so), yet it generates a report that is meant to summarize your months of pain and injury with a conclusion that often ends in “able to return to work.”
The emphasis of your IME should be on your injuries and on your restrictions concerning your work capabilities and your daily life. All of your complaints about your symptoms and your injuries should be explained thoroughly and honestly with the IME doctor. Do not hesitate in explaining all of the details concerning your workplace accident and injury.
- 2) Show the ‘real you.’
How does someone show how genuine their injuries are when they visit an IME doctor who has never seen them before, or dealt with their treatment?
Simply, show the IME doctors the ‘real you’ by refraining from taking general pain medication to dull your pain 8 hours prior to your exam until it has been completed.
This is a difficult proposition. Avoiding your general pain medication even for one day may be a challenge and disconcerting to someone already suffering from an injury.
However, it is also the most realistic portrayal of what your life is like after the accident at work. Unless it is absolutely necessary for your medical condition, be courageous and show the ‘real you’ to the IME doctor.
- 3) Do not go alone.
Bringing someone along to accompany you on your IME can be beneficial. There is strength in numbers and an unethical doctor may be discouraged from trying to intimidate or be rude to you if you are accompanied by someone. They can also be helpful as a witness for any issues that you come across in the clinic or in discrepancies from the IME report.
They may not be able to accompany you during the actual examination, but it is helpful that they record the time the examination starts and when it ends while they wait for you.
- 4) Choose the right Personal Injury Lawyer
Despite your sincere efforts, there is a high chance that the IME report may not conclude results in your favour. This is always a possibility, yet it is nonetheless upsetting.
As such, it is important that you seek advice from an accredited specialist in personal injury right away to be informed of your legal rights for compensation after a work injury.
Why? Because a professionally trained personal injury lawyer is the person in the best position to mitigate the effects of an IME report by helping you get alternative medical opinions, finding inaccuracies and incompleteness in the IME report, and protecting your best interests by distinguishing the legal and medical arguments that favour you instead of the insurance company.
Why East Coast Injury Lawyers Can Help
Our accredited specialists in personal injury have experience in both plaintiff claims and also previous experience representing insurance companies in insurance defence law.
This may be important for your claim because our lawyers have handled the reports of the insurance companies’ most commonly used IME doctors in Queensland including Northern Queensland (Townsville, Mackay, etc.), Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Our firm has extensive experience in protecting your legal rights to compensation by arguing and protecting your credibility from IME reports that may adversely affect your ability to protect your health and livelihood.
It is important that you choose accredited specialists in personal injury who are experienced in dealing with the insurance company, their lawyers and medical doctors.
If you would like more information on how we can assist you, contact us today by filling out our case review form or giving us a call: 1300 720 544.