After a work-related accident, your employer or your employer’s insurance company has the right to pick the doctors who will treat you. However, sometimes you, your employer, or the state may disagree with the findings of the doctors that were originally hired to diagnose and treat you. An independent medical examination may be requested by:
- You or your attorney, if you believe that your permanent disability determination is too low.
- Your employer or employer’s insurer, if they disagree with your doctor.
- The state, if there is a question about your injury.
You may be required to submit to more than one independent medical exam.
What Is an Independent Medical Examination?
As the term suggests, an independent medical exam is one that is conducted by a medical professional who has no ties with you, your attorney, your employer, or your employer’s insurer. The type of exam will depend on the nature of the injury. You have the right to bring a friend or relative with you to the appointment. You should be polite, be truthful, and be cooperative during the examination.
How to Request an Independent Medical Examination
Iowa Code Section 85.39 allows an employee to request an independent medical exam if you have been diagnosed with a permanent disability and you believe that the disability determination is too low. You have the right to request an independent exam at your employer’s expense using Form 100A Original Notice, Petition, Answer and Order Concerning Independent Medical Examination. It is important to fill out this form completely and with all of the required attachments before you serve your employer with it.
If you or any other party is requesting an independent medical examination, then there may be a dispute about your workers’ compensation eligibility or benefits. The resolution of this dispute can have a significant impact on your future. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers today for a free consultation about your rights and for more tips about how to protect your fair workers’ compensation recovery after an Iowa work-related accident.