If you've filed a worker's compensation claim, the insurance company may have requested that you undergo an independent medical examination. This isn't an accusation of dishonesty, but merely a way to have another doctor (typically chosen by the insurance company) evaluate your condition, your injury and the accuracy of your claim. The idea of recounting your entire injury and treatment process to an unfamiliar doctor may leave you feeling a little bit uncertain. Here are some tips to help you get through the process with confidence.
Write Down the Details
It can be difficult to remember everything when you're in the doctor's office, so the best way to make sure that you're not leaving anything out is to write it all down. The day before your appointment, sit down and write down all of the information that's applicable to your injury and the treatment process to date.
Go over the list several times to make sure that you aren't forgetting anything. Include details about your symptoms, any particular activities that cause pain and any treatments or other things that help your symptoms. It is important that your information is complete because the insurance company may be able to use omitted information to deny your claim.
Keep the Focus on Your Injuries
Your independent medical exam (from professionals such as those from UMC Medical Consultants, P.C.) is an opportunity for the doctor to evaluate your injuries as they apply to the claim you've filed. Make sure you're not offering information about other medical conditions unless they are directly relevant to the situation. In that case, keep in mind that any pre-existing conditions may reduce any award you receive.
In addition to keeping your focus on the injuries at hand, make sure you're not allowing the doctor to ask questions that aren't relevant or within his or her legal rights. The doctor should only ask you questions that directly apply to the injury, your pain, your treatment and similar information. If he or she starts asking about the accident or what you were doing at the time, explain that he or she should ask your attorney for specifics about the case itself.
Take Notes During the Appointment
You can't expect that you'll remember everything after the appointment. Even if you think you might be able to remember most of the information, there's no certainty that you won't forget something important. Eliminate the risk altogether by making notes while you're in the doctor's office. That way, you have something to refer back to.