Independent Medical Exams- Part 2
The question sometimes comes up whether to bring a video camera into the IME exam. The law permits you to do so. In fact, if you want to video the exam and the doctor doesn’t permit this, you can leave the exam.
Some people think bringing a video will antagonize the doctor. While this is possible, this should not be a major factor in your decision. However, bringing a recording devise and a friend to the exam may very well be an inconvenience. Nevertheless, with cell phones and other easy-to-use devices, recording the exam can be made simple. And, the likelihood that an IME will send in a bogus report is reduced if you have it recorded.
For example, let’s say the doctor mixes up two reports, yours and the report for the person the doctor examined just prior to you. The doctor may be filing 25 reports or more on that very same day and may not be able to get them all straight. So, if the doctor writes in the report that you were fine and are able to return to work, no problems at all ,but, the recording shows that this was not possible based on the what happened during the exam, you will be in a good position to prove that the report is in error.
Also, the doctor may ask you to fill out long questionnaires. You are not required to do so. If you have any questions about what needs to be filled out and why, call your lawyer right away, assuming you have a lawyer. If you don’t have a New York Worker’s Compensation lawyer, this might be the time to think about seeking some advice.
The insurance company can ask you to see a doctor of their choice, but, the exam must be at a reasonable distance from your home. They cannot ask you to travel long distances. If you are out of state, they must find a doctor near you as well.
Furthermore, the IME must send you a copy of the report within 10 business days for a New York exam. The doctor may tell you the results of the exam, but, what is in the report is all that matters. A copy of the report is also sent to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance company. Based on the doctor’s report, the insurance company often can take immediate action such as lowering or suspending your benefits. At that point, you may be able to challenge the report.
Contact an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney in New York
Ideally you want to engage a New York workers’ compensation lawyer to challenge the report, but, the challenge usually takes a long time regardless. So, the insurance company can immediately suspend your benefits in many cases based on their own doctor’s opinion, but, you will probably have to wait quite a while to undo the damage. It is important to understand that the system is at times inherently unfair to the extent that it feels as if the system were designed to help insurance companies rather than workers. Sadly, when it comes to IME’s, the law does seem to favor the insurance companies. Call the Law Office of Robert A. Koenigsberg at (212) 964-9292 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation.