Independent Medical Examinations Matter

You currently receive treatment for a work-related injury from your regular physician, but the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) wants you to have an independent medical examination (IME). What is an IME and why is it so relevant to your injury claim?

An IME is a medical exam of your work injury or illness by a physician paid by L&I or another insurer. At Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey in Olympia, our experienced workers' compensation attorneys understand that one of the primary purposes of an IME is to minimize the extent of your injuries — after all, IMEs are usually conducted by doctors who work for the insurance company and these doctors want to keep the insurance company happy. As a result, it's essential to be aware of some facts about independent medical exams.

Awareness Is Key

Here are some primary points to remember when you go to your IME that can result in a more accurate, truthful report from the examiner:

  • Expect observation from the moment you come into sight in the parking lot until after your vehicle is out of sight to judge the consistency of mobility
  • IME physicians are on the lookout for exaggeration of injuries
  • In most case, you can have a friend or family member accompany you to your IME; however, Washington law prohibits audiotaping the exam if it is for workers' compensation purposes
  • Do not state any opinions; just directly answer the physician's questions.

At Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey, we know it can be challenging to navigate a system that seems as if it wants you to get the short end of the stick. That is why our compassionate attorneys offer you caring guidance and zealous advocacy in your workers' compensation case.

Remember Your Rights

With an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side, you are provided an additional line of defense against a negative IME report — and a better chance of exercising your legal rights to the fullest. This includes the right to appeal an unfavorable decision by L&I.

While the observations at the IME matter to your case, another critical element is the legal professional you retain. Call Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey today at 360-596-9539 or 877-551-2871 for reputable and skilled representation. If you prefer, fill out our online contact form to request your free initial consultation.

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