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Alabama Workers Compensation Questions: (38) Do I have to see the IME Doctor?

Do I have to see the IME doctor? If you have suffered a serious injury and are receiving costly treatment from your treating physician, chances are that at some point you will be contacted by workers comp and told that you have to see another doctor (called an independent medical examination or IME). It is not because the doctor caring for you has done anything wrong, but because comp doesn’t like paying the medical bills associated with your treatment. So, do you have to see this new IME physician?

Generally, NO. The law in Alabama is clear, the workers compensation insurance carrier “shall pay” for any and all reasonably necessary medical treatment. They don’t have to like it, but they do have to pay for it.

Having stated this, there is a situation in which you may have to submit to an independent medical examination if it is ordered by the Court. Alabama law allows either party to request an IME of the court-or the court may order one on its own initiative-if a dispute arises as to the injury itself of the extent of disability you have suffered as a result of said job injury. While I have requested such an examination several times for my clients, I have only had such a Motion filed by the defendant once in the last 27 years, so it is not something which occurs often; and, it can only be done after suit has been filed. This means that the workers compensation insurance carrier cannot force you to see an IME doctor.

If you live in Alabama and you have questions about what benefits you are entitled to receive under Alabama’s Workers Comp Statute, don’t hesitate to contact one of the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny today.

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