According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 2.8 million cases of non-fatal injuries and illnesses occurred in private industries in 2019. That’s 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. While this seems like a positive statistic at first in comparison to the 5,333 fatal work-related injuries that occurred in all sectors, it’s actually still quite alarming. This is because, for many of these affected workers, the chronic pain caused by their injury significantly affects their ability to get back to the rigors of their position or engage in their daily activities.
If you were injured in a workplace accident or are suffering from an occupational illness, we can help. Neil Patel, M.D., a highly-qualified and dedicated pain management physician practicing at a pain clinic near me, combines knowledge of interventional medicine with cutting-edge treatment methods to create a treatment plan fully customized to your needs. In this brief article, we’ll be reviewing a number of things you should know about how we can assist with your case, including via an independent medical examination (IME).
Related: What Types of Treatment Are Provided For My Chronic Back Pain?
What Qualifies as a Work-Related Injury?
If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll need to prove that your injury or illness is work-related. Unfortunately, the line between a work-related injury and a non-work-related injury isn’t always as clear as it may seem, especially when the definition varies from a Workers’ Compensation standpoint and an OSHA-recordable injury standpoint. For the purposes of this article, we’ll only be discussing a work-related injury in terms of what is covered by workers’ compensation.
From that standpoint, a work-related injury is one that occurred while you were doing something on behalf of your employer or otherwise in the course of employment. Some of the most common work-related injuries include:
- Joint damage
- Muscle strain
- Broken bones
- Nerve injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Herniated or damaged discs
- Ligament tears
- Lower back and neck injuries
When it comes to these types of injuries, it’s critical to seek medical attention any time you’ve been involved in an accident or are experiencing any type of pain, especially regarding a workers’ compensation issue. After a thorough evaluation of your health and a physical examination to diagnose the underlying problem, Dr. Patel will create a treatment plan designed to perform the best job of alleviating your pain and getting you back on your feet.
Related: How to Find the Right Pain Management Doctor For You
What Is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
As previously stated, when you have a workers’ examination case, your physician will make any necessary decisions regarding what medical treatment you need, when you can return to work, whether you have a permanent disability, and so on. However, if there is a dispute with your employer’s insurance company regarding any of these issues, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination with another doctor. The role of this evaluation is to get insurance professionals, employees, attorneys, and physicians on the same page and resolve any claims in a timely and efficient manner.
Typically, an insurance company requests an IME because it either disagrees with a decision by your doctor about your course of medical treatment (especially surgery) or the extent of permanent disability. During the examination, the doctor will ask you questions regarding your injury and relevant medical history, perform any necessary tests, and write up a report with his or her conclusions in response to the disputed issue. It will include answers to a number of questions, including whether or not they feel as if you have been accurately diagnosed and whether or not they think you have a permanent or partial disability.
If a work-related injury is causing you pain or you are in need of an independent medical examination for any reason, please get in touch with Dr. Patel — a highly-experienced physician who specializes in pain management near me.
To schedule an appointment with a doctor at a pain clinic near me, please call (407) 478-0007 or fill out our contact form today.
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