If My Company’s Doctor Says I Can Work, Does That Mean No Workers’ Comp Payments?

Workers who are injured on the job will often be given an independent medical exam (IME) by a company doctor, in addition to their own attending physicians.
Workers who are injured on the job will often be required to undergo an independent medical exam (IME) by a company doctor, not for treatment, but for litigation purposes.

Workers who have been injured on the job are often examined by several different physicians.  If the findings amongst the doctors varies, what happens to your case?

It is important to note that the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission gives more weight to attending physicians’ opinions.

In cases where the treating doctor has you on light duty restrictions, the insurance carrier will likely send you to its own physician — often called an “independent medical examination” (IME).  If the IME physician says you can return to work “full duty” with no restrictions, the company will likely refuse to voluntarily pay benefits, according to top Herndon Virginia workers’ comp lawyer Doug Landau.

It has always been the position of the Abrams Landau law firm that the opinion of the IME physician regarding disability is valid only as of the date they evaluate the claimant.  Much like the claimant cannot rely upon “retroactive disability,” the employer should not be able to do so either.  However, not every Deputy Commissioner (workers’ comp trial judge) sees it this way.

In permanent injury and long-term wage loss cases, it is imperative that you hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, one who actually tries workplace accident claims on a regular basis, so that you can see him or her “in action,” in court.  If you or someone you know has been injured at work and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).