In the aftermath of a job-related injury, you may be required to see an independent medical examiner (IME) in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Oklahoma.
When on-the-job injuries happen, the impact on every area of your life can be severe. Even relatively minor injuries can prevent you from working while leaving you to face ongoing medical debts. In these situations, Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits can provide financial security as you recover. However, it is important to be aware that your claim can be denied or reduced based on reports by the independent medical examiner (IME) in your case.
Do I Have to Visit an IME to Get Workers’ Compensation?
One of the first steps you need to take in the aftermath of a work-related accident or injury is to get prompt medical care. When visiting any type of medical provider – whether it is through a doctor’s office or a hospital – it is vitally important to let them know that the injury occurred on the job and to detail any and all symptoms you suffer. This provides important evidence in filing your workers’ compensation claim.
Once a claim is filed through your employer, you may need to visit an independent medical examiner (IME). Under Oklahoma workers’ compensation statutes, an IME is a licensed physician who is appointed by the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WWC). They are authorized to submit medical reports, which the WCC will consider in determining the benefits that will be awarded in your case.
You are required to submit to an IME visit and failing to do so could result in your claim being denied. Areas that will be addressed by your IME during an appointment include:
● How your injuries happened;
● The extent of the damage suffered;
● The impact they have on your ability to work;
● Any lasting impacts you are likely to suffer as a result.
What to do Before an Appointment With an IME
When dealing with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), you need to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side. It is important to speak with one prior to attending your IME visit to ensure any information provided cannot be used against you.
It is in the best interests of your employer and their insurer to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits. Information provided through the IME could result in the following:
● Delay of benefits if there is any question about the cause of your injuries or how they occurred;
● Reduced amounts if the IME downplays the severity of your injuries and their impacts on your ability to work;
● Denial of benefits if the IME reports that your injuries are not work-related, such as being due to an ongoing condition or outside factors.
Get Our Ponca City, OK Workers’ Compensation Attorneys on Your Side
Your employer and their insurer have teams of attorneys representing them in workers’ compensation claims. Get BDIW Law fighting on your side. To request a consultation, call or contact our Ponca City workers’ compensation attorneys today.
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