Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
Local : 412-567-6650
Toll Free : 866-974-0915

THE TRUTH BEHIND "INDEPENDENT" MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

If you suffer an injury at work and receive any type of workers' compensation benefits, you should expect to receive, at some point, a letter directing you to attend an "independent medical examination."  Insurance companies have the right to require you to attend such an examination periodically. Ordinarily, the insurance company cannot require you to attend this examination more often than every six (6) months.

Although this so-called "independent" examination may not sound like anything you should be concerned about, do not be fooled.  Your employer's insurance company pays a doctor to perform the examination in an effort to reduce, suspend, or terminate your benefits.  Furthermore, the physician performing the examination often times will request from you certain background information about your medical history and work injury - information the insurance company and physician may try to use against you.

Nonetheless, so long as the insurance company schedules your independent medical examination at a reasonable time and location, you must attend this examination. Otherwise, you may lose certain benefits.  In fact, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that a Workers' Compensation Judge can suspend not only an injured worker's wage loss benefits but also his or her medical benefits if the injured worker does not attend an independent medical examination. (Giant Eagle, Inc. v WCAB (Givner), 39 A.3d 287 (Pa. 2012)).  In other words, failing to attend the independent medical examination could result in you being unable to obtain the medical treatment you need to treat your work injury in addition to losing your wage loss benefits.

The hidden nature of an independent medical examination and the potential consequences of attending, or not attending, that examination are just a few reasons why it is so important for the injured worker to consult with an attorney after receiving any sort of correspondence from the workers' compensation insurance company.  Without a doubt, you should always seek a free consultation from our law firm (412-288-6000) before submitting to an independent medical examination so that you do not unknowingly allow an insurance company to take advantage of you.

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Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
3204 Grant Building
310 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Toll Free: 866-974-0915
Phone: 412-567-6650
Fax: 412-288-6010
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Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
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