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7 Commons Street, Rutland, VT 05701

Independent Medical Examinations and Workers’ Comp

What is an IME?

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) essentially is a second opinion requested by the employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier.  There is no treating physician/patient relationship established, and the information you provide will not be kept confidential.

The “independent” medical examiner is chosen and paid by the insurance carrier and whether the examination is, in fact, “independent” depends upon the integrity of the examiner.

The IME doctor will ask you some questions, conduct a physical examination and provide a written report to the insurance company. The doctor may ask about your medical history, the circumstances surrounding your work injury, and the medical treatment you’ve received for your workers’ comp injury.

The IME doctor may ask you to rate your pain during different aspects of your examination.  The doctor may also perform certain tests to see whether your body’s reaction is consistent with your symptoms.

You and/or your attorney will be provided a copy of the report.  The length of the appointment will vary.


Do I have to attend the IME?

Yes.  If you receive a written notice of a scheduled Independent Medical Examination you must attend or risk losing your workers’ compensation benefits.


What is the purpose of an IME?

The reasons for an IME vary but some common reasons are to address the issues of:

– Causation;

– Medical end result;

– Whether medical care is reasonable and necessary;

– The extent of permanent impairment.


How do I answer questions at the IME?

Try to answer the questions to the best of your ability.  Be polite and honest.  If you don’t understand a questions, say so.


Is an IME important to my workers’ compensation case?

An IME can have a huge effect on your workers’ compensation case.  Your claim can be denied, your benefits can be cut off and your payment of permanency benefits can be reduced or denied based upon a detrimental IME.


What do I do when I receive an IME notice?

If you receive notice that you’re scheduled for an IME, we recommend that you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.  Please call us at 802-775-7459 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

See 21 V.S.A. sect. 655.