Omaha, NE – When you’re injured in a work accident in Nebraska, the insurance company may dispute the findings of your treating physician and ask you to submit to a medical examination carried out by an independent expert. The same may happen if your employer considers you’re well enough to work and doesn’t want to pay you benefits anymore. Do I have to submit to such an examination and what happens if I don’t?
What is an Independent Medical Examination?
First of all, let’s clear one very common misunderstanding. Under Nebraska laws there are in fact two types of medical examinations an injured employee may be asked to submit to. The difference between them is who orders it – the court or the insurance company.
An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is an evaluation of your health and work capacity ordered by the court.
Under Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Act, an independent medical examiner can be appointed by the Court to issue a report if your employer and their insurer disagree with your physician. If the court orders you to see a certain independent expert you must do so, otherwise you may be held in contempt of court.
What is a Defense Medical Exam?
According to Nebraska workers’ compensation code, an injured employee must submit to a medical examination requested by the insurance company. This is often referred to as a Defense Medical Exam and it’s not optional. Also, it can be very dangerous for you as the result will influence your worker’s compensation claim.
The biggest problem with this type of medical examination is that it’s anything but independent. The physician is one chosen by the insurance company. It’s a doctor who works with the insurance company on a regular basis and will naturally have the insurer’s best interests in mind.
If you receive a letter telling you to submit to such an examination, you need to talk to an experienced Omaha worker’s compensation claims lawyer right away. It’s a sure sign the insurance company is preparing to curtail your benefits or deny your claim altogether.
Since the law says you must submit to this exam, you have to obey. If you don’t go, the insurance company can stop your benefits until you submit to the exam.
Before the appointment, seek counsel from a seasoned attorney. They can advise you on what to say during the exam. Do not exaggerate your symptoms, but don’t downplay them either. Make it clear you’ve been following your doctor’s orders rigorously and taking your medications as prescribed.
While the medical expert won’t probably allow you to record the exam, you should report to your lawyers everything once you’re done. If you do not agree with the independent expert’s findings your lawyers can help you challenge their report.
Your next step should be to go to court. If there’s a dispute between you and your doctor and the guy working for the insurance company, the judge will probably order an IME.
If you were recently injured in a work-related accident in Nebraska, schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney at the Rensch & Rensch Law firm, with offices in Omaha and Columbus. They’ll make sure your employer gives you the benefits you’re entitled to.
7602 Pacific St #102, Omaha, NE 68114
1470 25th Ave, Columbus, NE 68601
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