Inevitably, injured workers receiving workers' compensation benefits will be sent for an Independent Medical Evaluation as allowed by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Do not be fooled by these so-called “independent” medical examinations, or IMEs. These exams come at the request of the employer's insurance company and in frankness, should be called “insurance” medical examinations. If you are scheduled for an IME, your employer and their insurance company are taking the first steps in attempting to deny or terminate your benefits.
Your employer is entitled to an IME at any time after you are initially injured. The PA Workers' Comp Act provides that the employer/carrier may request the employee to submit to a physical examination by an appropriate healthcare provider or other expert at any time after the injury to the employee. Refusal to comply with an order to do so, without reasonable cause or excuse, will deprive the employee of the right to compensation during the continuance of the employee's refusal.
Once the IME doctor submits his or her report to the insurance company, the carrier will take it to a judge as proof that you are fully recovered and able to work. As an injured worker, it is important to have a plan ready to fight back. Even if your employer has not filed anything with the courts yet, it is necessary to think ahead for when they do. It is in your best interest to speak to a skilled workers' compensation attorney and have a plan of action to defend your benefits.
Do You Have an IME Scheduled? Call Metzger Wickersham for Advice.
When you call the certified Pennsylvania workers' comp lawyers at Metzger Wickersham, you can rest assured that we know the system and will do everything in our power to defend your rights. We have offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, Shippensburg, Wilkes-Barre and York, allowing us to conveniently serve injured workers throughout PA.