Today’s wise words come from my colleague Matt Funk of New York.
Many times insurance medical examinations are considered by injured employees to be the same as Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs). There is nothing farther from the truth. These examinations are bought and paid for by the insurance company and for their benefit.
The insurance carrier doctor is no friend to an injured worker. He or she is a private consultant paid for by the carrier.
You should be prepared for these examinations by knowing your rights and how to protect them:
1) You have the right right to bring a family member or friend with you to the examination.
You can bring your spouse into the examination room during the examination. This is important because it allows for a witness to testify at court about the validity of the examination and to dispute tests that the doctor claims to have done.
2) You are permitted to audiotape or videotape the examination.
And there is nothing in the law that requires you to tell the insurance company doctor that you intend to tape the examination.
3) You should bring all your medical reports to the doctor.
Otherwise that the medical consultant can say that those records were unavailable.
4) You must also be open and honest about any questions asked about prior
This is a trap by insurance carriers where they try to get an injured worker to deny prior accidents and then use those statements against them at Court.
Properly preparing for an insurance medical examination is crucial for your case. Knowing your rights is a first step in protecting your medical interests.
Matthew Funk, a partner at Brecher Fishman Pasternack Walsh Tilker & Ziegler, has been practicing Workers’ Compensation Law for over a decade. He is a member of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, Injured Workers’ Bar Association and the New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). He has written for the New York State Trial Lawyers’ Workers’ Compensation Decisions program and has lectured on numerous occasions focusing on Workers’ Compensation Law.