In most cases, the answer is yes.
Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, the employer/insurer is entitled to an independent medical examination of the employee for any injuries claimed. Many times this will occur during your case while you are receiving benefits. In other cases, when your Minnesota work comp claim has been denied from the beginning, it will occur after the filing of a Claim Petition.
The filing of the Claim Petition triggers a requirement that the Independent Medical Examination occur within 120 days of the filing.
The term “Independent Medical Examination” is a misnomer. These examinations are anything but independent. The doctor conducting the examination is paid by the insurance company. Although many of these doctors are reputable and provide an honest opinion of your medical condition, the insurance company and employer hire these doctors to support their claim that you, the employee, is no longer entitled to benefits. If a doctor provides an opinion contrary to this narrative too often, that doctor will not be used anymore by the insurer to conduct an independent medical examination.
Despite the fact that from the outset you may believe that you should not be required to attend an examination that is more “adverse” than it is “independent” you must remember that you are required by the rules to attend this independent medical examination. Failure to attend can result in a denial of your Minnesota work comp benefits.
After the independent medical examination, you will receive a report outlining the doctor’s opinions. Many times this report will be accompanied by a letter from the insurer stating that your Minnesota work comp benefits will be discontinued and you have reached what is called maximum medical improvement.
At this point it is important to hire an experienced Minnesota work comp attorney to fight both the adverse examination report and the discontinuation of Minnesota work comp benefits. There are no attorney fees associated with hiring a Minnesota work comp attorney unless we are successful in obtaining those Minnesota work comp benefits which have been denied, or there is a settlement of your case.
Call our Minnesota work comp attorneys today if you have questions about an upcoming independent medical examination or would like to discuss your Minnesota work comp case.