If you are injured on the job and your doctor gave you a note with restrictions, your employer may offer you light or modified duty work. Light or Modified Duty work means that your employer will place you in a less physically demanding job until you are healed. Alternatively, your employer might alter your existing job to fit within the restrictions set forth by your doctor. However, some employers push their employees beyond the restrictions set forth by the doctor. If this is the case, it is important to tell your doctor and make an incident report with your employer. You want to do everything you can to protect yourself. One pitfall that a lot of injured workers get trapped in is pushing themselves to get back to regular duty too fast and sustaining further injury. If you feel as though the company doctor is only looking out for the companies best interest, ask to be seen by another doctor on the panel list. If there is no panel list, choose a doctor who specializes in the type of injury you sustained. For more information, contact Jason Krasno.
An independent medical examiner is a doctor designated by the workers' compensation insurance carrier to perform an examination on you to determine whether your injury is work related and whether disability results from the injury. It is not a doctor that is supposed to treat you for the work injury. There are many good IME doctors out there. Unfortunately, most of our clients run into the "hired guns" of the insurance industry. A large number of independent medical examiners make a lot of money performing IME's. They do not want to jeopardize this stream of revenue, so they typically provide medical opinions in favor of the workers' compensation insurance carrier. As an injured worker, it is important to remember that no matter what your perception is of an IME doctor, you should still treat them with respect. It is important to show up on time with the medical records you have available at the time of the examination. You should describe your symptoms accurately and not magnify how you are feeling. If you exaggerate when being examined, the IME doctor is trained to recognize this and will put it in his report.
Employers routinely ignore medical reports of your treating doctor when demanding that you return to work. An employer does not have to rely on the treating doctor notes when making a determination whether to bring you back to work. The employer will follow the lead of the workers' compensation insurance carrier and solely or substantially rely on an Independent Medical Examiner who saw you on one occasion. Is this fair? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is this legal? UNFORTUNATELY YES. If you are having a problem like this please call Jason Krasno to discuss. Attorney Krasno can offer you sound legal advise to help overcome this hurdle in your case.