August 19, 2019

What is a “Claimant’s IME” and How Can I Take Advantage of this Powerful Benefit?

I often explain to my clients that a major struggle in any workers’ compensation case relates to medical care.  Georgia law gives employers the first opportunity to decide where an injured worker must go for treatment but this control is not complete:

  • if your employer does not provide a valid “posted panel” of physicians you may be able to seek care with any physician and your employer and its insurer must pay for this care
  • you can switch between one posted panel physician to another without prior permission
  • you can request  a change in authorized treating physician
  • you can request a claimant’s IME

The claimant’s IME is a very interested feature of Georgia law.  First enacted in 1990, Section 34-9-201(e) provides that an injured worker can demand an independent medical exam with a physician of his choice, paid for by the workers’ comp. insurance carrier.  In my practice I use this “claimant’s IME” frequently to get a second opinion about questionable existing care or as evidence to support a request for permanent change in authorized treating physician.

Of course your right to a claimant’s IME under Georgia law is not absolute – I recently wrote an article about this topic on one of my web sites.   Take a look if you are not happy with the quality of medical care you are receiving – and let me know what you think.

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Jodi Ginsberg

Attorney Jodi Ginsberg represents employees who are injured on the job and who need medical care and missed wage benefits available under Georgia's workers' compensation laws.

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  1. […] 1990, the Georgia legislature gave injured workers an important new right, the “claimant’s IME (independent medical exam).  Under this law, an injured worker can request an independent medical […]

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