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Independent Doctor: Not Always Independent in PA Workers’ Comp Cases

Posted D. Joseph Chapman on Mar 14, 2014 in Workers' Compensation

You were hurt while on the job and your first instinct is to call your regular doctor. Before you do, you should know that Pennsylvania laws regarding worker’s compensation are quite strict. There are restrictions on which doctor can examine you following an on-the-job accident.

Perhaps your boss has already informed you of the need for an independent medical exam or IME. This exam is required any time you are hoping to get workers’ compensation for an injury that you suffered while on-the-job. Typically, your boss will provide you with a list of company-approved doctors who can perform this exam. Your boss may shrug it off as a technicality, but there are a few things you should know about these so-called independent doctors in Harrisburg.

On Payroll

An independent doctor is often paid by the company to perform these exams. That fact alone gives the doctor an incentive to downplay your injury in order to save the company money and be able to continue serving as the company’s independent doctor.

Diagnosis Matters

What this independent doctor says regarding your injury will be used as the basis for determining the amount you are allowed to recoup through workers’ compensation. In other words, if the independent doctor doesn’t believe your injury is as serious as you think it is, the company will go by the doctor’s opinion. This is where second opinions may make a difference.

If you do not believe you are getting an adequate offer for the injuries you suffered at work, you may need to rely on the skill of an experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer to help you get a better settlement. For more information or to set up an appointment, start an online chat with one of our representatives now.