- Rusty Savoie
WHAT IS A COURT-APPOINTED IME?
In workers’ compensation, the injured worker is entitled to a physician of his choosing in any field needed. That physician is called your treating physician or choice of physician. Likewise, the insurance company is entitled to their own physician or physicians. For example, if you have an orthopedist, they get an orthopedist.
If your doctor and their doctor disagree, the Court can appoint an Independent Medical Examiner (IME). The IME doctor will review your records, examine you and issue a written report to the Judge. He acts as sort of a tiebreaker. His decision is generally final. It is very difficult to convince a judge not to follow the recommendation of the physician he or she appointed as the Court’s expert. If the IME doctor finds you are able to do the level of work you were doing when hurt, your weekly check will stop. Or, if he or she finds that you are not in need of medical care or your injury is not the result of your work-accident, then the insurance company will no longer pay for your medical care. Your claim is pretty much over.
When a claim is not in litigation (not in court yet), either party can request the state appoint an IME.