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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default IME Versus Treating Doc

    I am going to try and get to the point. I fell on 2/15 in a ptís driveway hit the back of my head on front of my car and landed on a block of snow covered ice. I have been diagnosed with post concussion syndrome and neck and back strain. I have a previous neck injury from 2015 that was settled through workers comp in Georgia. I live in Michigan now. During the course of therapy for my concussion my neck and back pain became unbearable dr stopped PT and OT and ordered MRI 3 neck , Thoracic and lumbar with IV sedation. The concussion or treatment was never in question. I receive a letter from insurance carrier that I was being sent to IME 4 days prior to MRI. Day after IME I receive a call from nurse manager stating my MRI had been postponed until IME report. I do have a lawyer who at the moment doesnít seem to concerned about IME report all he said was 95% favor employer and to just tell the truth but do not take any requested forms in. My restrictions are no lifting over 10 lbs this changed from 25lbs after X-ray showed slipped disc in lower back , no twisting or bending and no driving which were all in place due to concussion. I was told today by insurance adjuster that he is expecting report no later than Monday and that the IME report will trump doctor restrictions. I saw my doctor yesterday and he is referring me to the concussion clinic in the next city over. I can understand although I wonít agree the IME challenging the neck injury because of previous injury even though my doctor stated their has definitely been a change with the fall. But in order for me to return to current position I have to be restriction free and able to drive. I have to be able to lift a pt if I were to walk in a home and find pt on the floor. The pain I had with old injury and the pain I have now are totally different as this pain is severe , debilitating and causes pain with sitting or standing , shooting pain at times I have had to use a wheel chair. Add the concussion symptoms of nausea , dizziness and balance issues and cognition I am a mess. I also received an early check from adjuster after him missing a week of pay saying he forgot. I fear those checks were my last as he seemed quite sure the IME would be different from treating Dr. I placed a call to my lawyer to update him on status . My restrictions have always allowed me to return just under modifications. I am allowed 2 hrs a day 3 days a week per treating doc as I still have lots of therapy needed. I left a message for my lawyer as to whoís orders should I follow. I just am having a hard time believing the IME doc would totally disregard my concussion syndrome and the treating doc and therapist recommendations that I have a long way to go. Before I can safely resume nursing. But from what I am reading that may very well be the case and I would be denied treatment at the concussion clinic. I am just overwhelmed stopping my benefits I will surely end up homeless I have a nine year old I would never fake an injury and risk this. I cannot not do my current job I am barely functioning at home. I am not willing to put myself in any more risk of becoming permanently disabled or risking my nursing license or hurting a pt unintentionally. What should I do. I am praying for the best but preparing for the worst.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202

    Default Re: IME Versus Treating Doc

    What should you do? You should listen to your lawyer. And the IME doc is almost always just an expert witness for the defense. That is the purpose of getting an IME.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 1971

    Default Re: IME Versus Treating Doc

    You're in one of the worst states, in Michigan your benefits are based of loss of earning capacity, not just your impairment.
    The carrier is entitled to a "phantom wage" - Meaning they can deduct what you "could be earning" if you where working at a job that "may be available" based on the labor market data in your area.

    Your treating doctor's opinion carries more weight than that IME quack.
    The quack is hire by the carrier to give an alternate opinion of your condition "independent" of your treating doctor - His opinion is to minimize the liability to the carrier only, it's not a basis to diagnose or treat your condition.
    Always abide by your treating doctors orders.

    You're in for a ride, put on your seat belt, be patient and listen to your lawyer.
    Good Luck.

    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Re: IME Versus Treating Doc

    Thank you. I thought Georgia was the worst. They just left me hanging and finally settled never had a case manager and never had an IME they sent me to a surgeon who said I needed surgery . Later I saw a physiatrist referred by my treating doc who said I did not. They waited the day before surgery canceled it and left me hanging for a year with no treatment and my lawyer did not fight to get me any he just wanted to settle. I guess I was wrong this is worse. I was able to recover and return to work and was very careful with body mechanics I just was the victim of a nasty winter and horrible fall. With all that is going on if I donít get treatment I wonít be able to do much of anything let alone nursing. I appreciate your feed back.

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