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 another 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' compensation 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.