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What To Expect at Your Independent Medical Examination (IME)

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Posted By DAM Firm | April 11 2024 | Nevada, Workers' Compensation

If you sustain a workplace injury or illness in Nevada, you may eventually have to undergo what is called an “Independent Medical Examination,” or IME. If you have been asked to undergo one of these examinations, we encourage you to speak to your work injury lawyer in Las Vegas for assistance about what steps to take next. Here, we want to define a Nevada independent medical examination and discuss what happens during these exams.

What To Expect at Your IME

Understanding the Independent Medical Exam Process

When a dispute arises regarding a workplace injury, including its cause, the extent of the harm, or the expected recovery duration, employers or insurers might seek to postpone or reject the associated claim. In such instances, the individual filing the claim might be required to undergo an independent medical exam (IME).

The state workers’ compensation system in Nevada incorporates an independent medical exam (IME) procedure to address disagreements of this nature. The insurer bears the cost of the IME, with the goal of settling ongoing conflicts between the claimant, the employer, and the insurance company, facilitating the compensation process for the worker, or leading to a decision on the claim denial.

If an employer does not attend their IME, Nevada law (Nev. Rev. Stat. 616C.140(5)) dictates that benefits will be put on hold until the appointment is attended.

Preparing for Your Independent Medical Exam

To ensure you’re adequately prepared for an independent medical exam, consider the following guidance:

  1. Present yourself well. Opt for attire that reflects a non-physical lifestyle post-injury—avoiding workout clothes can be beneficial.
  2. Be punctual. Aim to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time. Being on time or late may cause unnecessary delays and potentially upset the examining physician.
  3. Understand your medical background. Possess a thorough grasp of your medical history, including details about the injury in question. It’s essential that your account aligns with the information available to the IME doctor.
  4. Maintain honesty about your injuries. It is important to accurately describe your injuries, avoiding any embellishment. Additionally, being forthcoming about any pre-existing conditions when asked is necessary, as misinformation can negatively impact your claim.
  5. Be consistent in your injury account. Be prepared to clearly explain how the injury occurred, ensuring your narrative matches what has been previously shared with the insurance company, your employer, and any legal documentation. Consistency is key to maintaining credibility.
  6. Stay neutral regarding exam length. The duration of the IME might vary; your reaction to the time spent should remain neutral. The length of the exam does not correlate directly with the favorability of the doctor’s report.

Working With Your Attorney

If you have been injured at work and are struggling to recover compensation for your losses, we encourage you to contact an attorney immediately. A work injury lawyer in Las Vegas can walk you through the entire claims process and even prepare you for any required independent medical examinations. You deserve compensation and do not have to go through this alone. A member of our team can investigate your case, liaise with trusted medical professionals, and fully prepare to handle any appeals needed so you can recover the compensation necessary to move forward.

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