Workers' compensation and exams from different doctors

Connecticut workers who are injured on the job might be eligible to receive workers' compensation. It is important, however, to remember that there are certain rules that the state has in place to ensure those who should be getting benefits are receiving them. Part of that is the medical examination to determine the extent of the injuries. To assess that, the worker might be asked to have an Employer/Respondent's Examination. This was previously referred to as IME. The worker need not be concerned about medical expenses with this request as they are paid for by the employer/respondent.

The claimant can have their own doctor present when this examination takes place, but it is at his or her own expense. It is not common that this is done. A claimant is required to take the examination upon reasonable request. Refusing to take this examination could lead to the suspension of the right to get workers' compensation benefits. An example of when the request is considered unreasonable is if traveling to take the test is long and difficult. Prior to the determination being made as to the reasonableness of the request, the claimant should ask that there be an informal hearing. The report from the physician must be provided to the employer/respondent within 30 days of it being completed. All parties - the employer or insurer; the claimant or a legal representative - should get the report in a similar fashion.

It is possible that there will be a disparity between the opinions of the claimant's physician and the physician for the employer/respondent and an agreement cannot be reached. If that occurs, the Workers' Compensation Commissioner can have the claimant receive a "Commissioner's Examination". The examiner will not have any connection to either side and will not be biased in the case. The opinion provided will be independent. The claimant is required to have this examination or the benefits could be jeopardized.

Simply because the employer/respondent wants a worker to go for an examination by a doctor of their choosing does not mean that the injuries are being called into question. It does mean that the claimant should be aware of the potential that there will be a disagreement between their doctor and the employer's/respondent's doctor of choice. With this situation and many others related to workers' compensation benefits, it is imperative to have legal assistance to understand how this can influence a claim. A law firm that specializes in workers' compensation can help.

Source: wcc.state.ct.us, "State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission -- Information Packet -- Employer's/Respondent's Examination (Formerly IME); The Commissioner's Exam, page 6," accessed on May 14, 2018

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