Examining The Level of Independence In An Independent Medical Exam

At the time of an independent medical exam, the word independence might be used in reference to the degree to which the examining doctor comes under any level of oversight. That same physician is supposed to fill the role of a third party.

Why the examining doctor fails to qualify as an independent professional:

The patient gets examined for only a brief period of time, which stands in sharp contrast to the time taken for a typical physical examination.

The physician does serve as a token neutral presence, owning to the fact that the same doctor manages to offer a report that counterbalances the patient’s claims. Still, that counterbalance is heavily weighted.

An illustration of how heavily weighted the doctor’s report can become:

This illustration offers insight into an actual IME (independent medical exam). The examination was requested by the insurance company that was supposed to offer short- and long-term disability coverage to eligible employees at a medical facility. One employee sought coverage, after requiring surgery, while fighting the facility’s attempt to terminate her employment. In fact, she had her IME soon after the operation had taken place. Still, the examining doctor said in his report that she was able to return to work.

How a patient/client in a similar situation can work with a lawyer, in order to deal with a doctor’s weighted report?

Patient/client should compose a summary of the exam when it has been completed. The same summary should have at its top the date and time of its creation.

The client-lawyer team should work together to prepare for the report.

If doctor issues an adverse report, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville might decide to speak with the Human Relations Department in the company or facility that has provided eligible employees with disability coverage. A lawyer would realize that no company or facility that is hiring workers wants to be charged with acting in bad faith.

The lawyer could consult with the client, in order to explain the weaknesses in the stance taken by the client’s existing or former employer. Still, the lawyer must respect the client’s wishes. Yet the lawyer’s experience offers a hint of what might happen, if the client does return to work. The client would almost certainly be forced to request some form of disability, after struggling to take-on all the responsibilities associated with the client’s particular job.

There is little chance that the HR Department would raise lots of questions, regarding the employee’s/client’s request for disability leave. Staff in the HR Dept. would know that the employee’s lawyer could easily protest the introduction of such questions. An older employee might elect to seek permission for an early retirement, in lieu of disability leave.

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