Passing the Medical Exam After a Workers' Comp Injury
If you suffer a work injury, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. To receive workers' compensation benefits, you must alert your employer and fill out the necessary workers' compensation forms.
Your employer will then pass the claim along to its workers' compensation insurance carrier. The insurer may then order a workers' compensation investigation to ensure the legitimacy of the claim.
As part of this investigation, you will probably be asked to submit to a medical examination to determine the extent and cause of your injuries.
Worker's Injury Investigation
The insurance carrier will hire a doctor to examine the worker's injury. This examination is not used to provide treatment but rather is used to assess your workers' compensation claim from a medical perspective. You will not have to pay the doctor for this examination.
The information obtained from the examination will help the insurance company decide whether to deny your claim or grant you workers' compensation benefits.
Preparing for the Examination
The examining doctor will want you to talk about your medical history, as well as the events leading up to your worker's injury. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you should organize any information you have pertaining to your accident and injury, so you are prepared to answer the doctor's questions.
The following are some areas the doctor will likely question you about:
- Your medical history
- The events leading up to the injury
- What parts of your body sustained injury
- Your symptoms and if and when they flare up
- Any restricted movement or motion due to the injury
- Treatment or medicine regimes that help your injuries
Talking to the Doctor
Be on time for your examination. Also be sure to stay calm throughout. You want the story of how you became injured to remain consistent and honest.
Do not be too forthcoming with information. Just answer the doctor's questions as precisely as possible without divulging any unnecessary information. Also, take mental notes about what goes on during the exam.
Undergoing the Physical Exam
Once the doctor is done going over your medical history with you, he or she will conduct an actual medical exam. What the exam entails will depend on the types of injuries you have sustained.
Pay attention to how much time the doctor takes to examine you. Take mental notes, rather than actual notes, on what sort of tests the doctor conducts and how long he or she takes to conduct each test.
Do not discuss details of your workers' compensation claim that are unnecessary for the doctor to know about. Instead, just remain quiet and calm, and only answer questions that the doctor asks you. Once again, be sure to answer these questions honestly and precisely.
You may want to have a conversation with a workers' comp attorney prior to undergoing your medical exam. The two of you can discuss your worker's injury and identify any details the examining doctor needs to know. This will help ensure you are fully prepared for your medical exam.
After the Exam Is Over
After you leave the examining doctor's office, be sure to take written notes of what went on during the exam. This is your opportunity to document the types of tests the doctor conducted and how long the doctor spent administering each test.
You can also write down the questions the doctor asked of you and all answers you provided. If you feel there were any inappropriate or unusual questions asked, be sure to make note of these as well.