The following article was submitted by “Bullied” as a Guest Post. The article focuses on a shocking, disgraceful, totally unconscionable recent legal case (NSW) that basically highlights everything that is wrong with the workers compensation system, including the insurer and the IME. The Judge in this case directed that the independent medical examiner (IME Dr Casikar) AND the workcover insurer (Allianz) both be investigated for their disgraceful and seriously alarming [mis]conduct!
Thanks to “R”, it has come to or attention that Dr Michael Epstein recently wrote on his website that IME doctors are basically very much in the firing line (being complained about), because injured workers have ready access to a number of blogs , for example ‘aworkcovervictimsdiary‘ and the injured workers support network that feed into (injured) workers’ hostility towards the WorkCover system and those who work in it.”
Have you, like us, ever wondered if more ‘notorious’ independent medical examination doctors (IME) are verbally and/or physically threatened with (bodily) harm by injured workers, or perhaps their family or even friends? What if a genuinely injured worker— whose emotions run hot and whose future it at stake—receives a grossly biased, extremely unfair and utterly insulting IME report, resulting in loss (i.e. weekly pay, medical and like etc), damage (i.e. common law claim), hurt, humiliation… and… utter RAGE? Continue Reading…
You probably all know by now that there are too many tricks IME doctors —especially the workcover insurance favourites—have to make an all-inclusive trick list. However, here are a couple of such tricks (or tips!) to keep in mind when your have been sent to undergo an(other) independent medical examination.
Sometimes the way the questions are worded to an IME demonstrates the bias of the workcover insurer, writes an injured worker. Also certain doctors only do IMEs / or it may seem like it and those doctors seem to always have the same opinion. Injured workers talk to each other and they get an idea of whether a doctor is an “insurance” doctor or a proper clinician. In my opinion insurers who only use a narrow set of doctors for IMEs are setting themselves up for a battle…
Our new “guest” post section, launched on 16 October and which captures your submitted content, anonymously and directly on the front end of our site, is proving to be quite popular! Here is our second submitted guest post titled “Unusual response from IME”, well worth a read as it – again – highlights how workcover insurance companies continue to subject injured workers to repeated and unnecessary examinations, and to pressure “unfavourable” IMEs so it can get the medical opinion it wants. It’s called doctor shopping!
It’s bad enough to suffer a psychological injury at work, or the ferocious retribution routinely meted out to these workers. But as is well known that, often, if the psychological injured worker tries to obtain compensation or remedy through the ‘justice’ system, they are likely to suffer further psychological injury from the system itself- and, in some cases, more severe than the actual original one. This is such a problem, that quite a few psychiatrists, psychologists and even lawyers advice to psychologically injured workers NOT to try litigation.
Most workcover authorities state on their websites something along the lines that Independent Medical Examiners (IMEs) should provide unbiased, accurate and comprehensive information and be carried out with dignity and respect for the injured worker.Although injured workers have experienced poor IME assessments we are surprised how few formal complaints are filed, particularly for some of the more notorious IMEs.
As you well know aworkcovervictimsdiary is very hard on workcover insurance companies and the workcover system. Perhaps we ought to stop picking on the insurance companies, the various claims people and processes, and even the Independent Medical Assessors (IMEs). Well, let’s try and think outside the box and ask ourselves how we could improve some processes. This article covers some random thoughts and recommendations to improve the IME process.
In wokcover cases, the defense counsel (insurer and their lawyers) has been allowed , for years, to use covert video surveillance to challenge the injured worker’s testimony in court regarding the extent and severity of his/her injuries. Allowing the injured worker to use the same surveillance means to challenge the testimony of a defendant’s chosen doctor (IME) on the same issue by exposing the thoroughness (or often lack thereof) of the IME’s examination of the injured worker should, in our opinion, also be routinely accepted.