If you receive a notice scheduling you for an Independent Medical Exam, you should speak to your attorney about whether you need to attend. The general rule is the insurer can schedule one every 6 months or so. There are some exceptions where more than one can be scheduled in a 6 month period.
If you don’t attend, the most likely consequence is that the insurer will file what’s called a Petition to Compel. This means they petition the Judge to issue an Order compelling you to attend the next exam, otherwise, your wage loss checks can be suspended absent good cause.
These exams are usually the beginning of litigation, and often a settlement thereafter. Many of these physicians will see things differently than the treating doctors. They are notorious for calling an injury a “sprain” or “strain” and blaming all your issues on “arthritis”.
When you attend an IME, you want to be on time, honest, and as detailed as possible about whatever you are asked. Make sure you have a complete handle on any similar pre-existing injuries as you will surely be asked. An aggavation of a prior condition is still a work injury under PA Work Comp Law.
Independent Medical Exams do not create a doctor patient relationship. The doctor will examine you, review records, and write a report and send it to the adjustor. The doctor will not tell you their opinions about whether they think you’re recovered or not, or what restrictions you need. That info will be in the report.
If you are scheduled for an Independent Medical Exam, and don’t yet have an attorney to help you, call us right away. This is the time to get things in order, as it is very common to see a Petition to Terminate, Suspend, or Modify soon after you attend an Independent Medical Exam.