Georgia Independent Medical Evaluations
Today, I want to talk to you about Independent Medical Evaluations, what they are, when we use them, and how they are used. We have many, many clients that have Independent Medical Evaluations, and they happen very regularly. If you are facing one, or if you are an attorney and you have questions about whether or not you should allow your client to undergo an Independent Medical Evaluation, you have come to the right place.
First, let us talk about Independent Medical Evaluations in a workers' compensation case. Under the workers' compensation laws in Georgia, the employer can send you for Independent Medical Evaluation at pretty much any time they want, as long as they pay you mileage and follow the other rules under the statute. Sometimes, we fight redundant or repeated Independent Medical Evaluations. For example, if they want to send you to three back doctors for the same problem. But, the law does favor the employers and the insurance companies in being able to send you for Independent Medical Evaluations pretty much when and how they want.
Second, Independent Medical Evaluations for claimants in workers' compensation cases are different. Generally, as an injured workers' compensation victim in Georgia, you have the right to one Independent Medical Evaluation that can be done either while you are receiving your weekly income benefits, or within 120 days after receiving certain weekly benefits. The rules can get a little sticky, so it is important you consult with an attorney about this, but you want to be careful not to burn your one-time Independent Medical Evaluation that is paid for by the employer. Sometimes, your attorney or you may elect to pay for additional medical evaluations out of your own pocket, and that is fine, too. But remember, you have one evaluation that the employer/insurer must pay for, if you fall at the right time, and if your timing, again, is correct.
Finally, Independent Medical Evaluations in other types of civil cases are much different than workers' compensation cases. For example, we handle a lot of automobile wreck and truck wreck cases. Independent Medical Evaluations in those cases have to be approved by the judge or the parties. If you or a loved one has been injured, and you have questions about whether or not you have to go to company doctor for an evaluation, or the doctor the other side's insurance company wants you to see, please call me for some advice and help. We are here to help you, we have convenient office hours, and we have handled over 1,000 cases involving serious injuries throughout Georgia.