Defense Medical Exams
When you are injured at work, your employer has the right to have you examined by a doctor that it chooses. This is in addition to the first 90 days of the claim, where the employer controls who you treat with. The employer usually calls these examinations Independent Medical Examinations, but they are frequently less than “independent.” The employer and its workers’ compensation carrier often work with the same doctors on a regular basis. They are not “treating” doctors, but rather, are asked to offer their opinion about whether your injury is work-related in the first place or whether you have recovered from the injury after it happens. The doctor’s opinion will often differ from the opinion of your own treating physician.
If you receive a notice asking you to attend one of these defense medical exams, it is important that you contact an attorney for advice. Shoap Law Offices and our experienced attorneys, who serve Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area, are available to let you know what to expect. These exams can be an important turning point in your case — they can provide the basis for your employer to try to suspend or terminate your claim based on the medical opinions offered by the doctor. They can also provide a basis for denying your claim entirely.