For those who are not familiar, workcover claims/case managers are able to require an injured worker to attend an appointment with a medical specialist for a so-called independent medical examination. The claims manager may or may not provide the medical specialist with the injured worker’s claim file or other medical reports that have been undertaken. The medical specialist will be asked to answer one or more questions relating to the existence and management of the injured worker’s medical condition.
The subsequent report of the medical practitioner, provided it complies with the relevant guidelines, can then be used to determine the injured worker’s entitlements and in any relevant legal proceedings. An injured worker must attend the independent medical examination, for failure to do so would be considered a breach of the obligation of mutuality and could result potentially in the discontinuance of weekly payments.
There is no specific provision in the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act dealing with IMEs and, as such, there is no limitation on the justification for the number of independent medical examinations that a case manager can require an injured worker to attend.
It is very well known that some IMEs (some whom are even flown in interstate) have a reputation for being pro WorkCover; that is, they are more likely to provide a report that is favourable to the claims manager’s interests and hence detrimental to the injured workers.
These include independent medical examiners engaging in unorthodox practices designed to intimidate injured workers and are also known as HIRED GUNS.
There are quite a few things you can do to protect yourself during and independent medical examination (a must read) however here we expose a number of known hired guns which you must avoid at all cost! These so called IME’s will kill your case in less than 5 seconds. If your case manager/workcover insurance has requested you attend these hired guns for an “independent assessment”, please immediately contact your lawyer and refuse to see this IME, it is your right to refuse to be examined by a totally biased IME and your lawyer can help you to be send for examination to another more ethical independent doctor!
However, please be aware that the administrators of aworkcovervictimsdiary.com have received lawsuit threats for alleged DEFAMATION. (see case 1, and case 2). It is therefore extremely important that, if you wish to name and shame an IME, you provide the hard evidence of alleged wrongdoing and that you are fully prepared to stand up in a court of law to defend a defamation lawsuit!!! If you cannot provide written evidence of wrongdoing, aworkcovervictimsdiary simply cannot publicly publish your allegation(s), as they are not prepared to cop the blame for unfounded slander, and be dragged into a court of law and deal with the additional cost and stress of litigation for something you wrote without substance.
Good luck with your IME’s…. make sure your read the articles under ‘IME’ for some good tips and insights and how to prepare and protect yourself during those dreaded examinations.
Info about defamation