The outcome of your workers’ compensation claim is hugely determined by your workers’ compensation doctor. This doctor will decide your treatment plan, work restrictions, and how the injury will affect your life in the years to come. Because their opinion is so important, you must be sure they have all the correct information necessary to form an accurate opinion. This is why what you say to your doctor, or rather what you don’t say, is so important in workers’ compensation cases.
In this blog, we discuss some crucial things to refrain from saying to your doctor while seeking workers’ compensation after a workplace injury.
In many cases, an independent medical examination, or IME, will be used as a second opinion. Often an employer’s insurance company will request an IME when you have reached maximum medical improvement.
Essentially, the IME assesses your functional limitations to determine how your injury has impacted your ability to perform your job. Pain level, range of motion, and how the injury has affected your life are all things that a doctor will consider when performing this exam. Once they have formed an opinion, they will determine whether you need additional treatment, the extent of the injury, and what caused the injury.
An insurance company may request an IME every six months, so it’s extremely important you are open and honest with your doctor. It’s important to be as detailed as possible, while also not exaggerating your symptoms.
What You Shouldn’t Say
Since your doctor’s opinion is so important in determining the outcome of your workers’ compensation case, avoid saying the following things:
- Never Lie
Many people think that exaggerating their symptoms will ensure they receive a hefty payout in a workers’ compensation case, but that is not true. When a doctor performs an IME, you must be honest about the extent of your symptoms. Doctors are familiar with the process, and if they think you’re lying they may deny your claim. You should also never lie about the specifics pertaining to where and when your injury took place. You may think you can get away with omitting key details out of fear that they may negatively affect your case, but you would be wrong.
Never lie about past injuries or preexisting conditions, and always be sure to differentiate to your doctor which symptoms are from a past injury and which are new.
- Never Speak Poorly of Your Employer
It’s normal to have a few negative feelings toward your employer, especially if they’re trying to fight your workers’ compensation claim. You are not wrong for feeling this way. However, you should never speak negatively about your employer to your doctor. You want your doctor to be on your side throughout this process, so it’s important to leave a glowing and positive impression on your doctor. Bad-mouthing your employer during your IME may harm your doctor’s impression of you, so keep the talking positive whenever your employer comes up in conversation.
- Never Contradict the Symptoms of Your Injury
You should always behave in a way that reflects the injuries you have sustained when you are in the presence of your doctor. For example, if you sustained a shoulder injury and part of your treatment requires you to wear a sling, you should not arrive at your IME without your sling. Behaving in such a way will likely lead your doctor to believe you are dishonest.
Contact an Attorney Right Away
Overcoming the hurdles that workers’ compensation cases present can quickly become complicated. Don’t try to navigate these situations alone, here at Zirkin and Schmerling our Maryland personal injury lawyers prioritize our clients and make sure they understand the steps in the legal process. We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve in workers’ compensation cases.
Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced accident lawyers today.