Under the workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey, when you file an application for benefits, you must submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor selected by the workers’ compensation insurance provider. It’s considered an “independent” examination, but the reality is that the doctor has been retained by the insurer (or by your employer) to look for reasons to decline your claim. According, it’s essential that you obtain documentary evidence from the exam, so that false or misleading claims cannot be made.
PREPARE FOR THE EXAMINATION
The workers’ compensation adjuster will likely prepare and send a letter to the doctor, describing your injury or illness. You have a right to see this letter, so that you know what the doctor has been told.
Make certain you know your family medical history before you go to the exam. The doctor will probably ask you about any injuries or treatment you’ve had before the work accident. Don’t hide the fact that you’ve been hurt before-that’s not necessarily a bar to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Be sure you know how the accident happened. If you are unclear, the workers’ compensation may be able to argue that the cause was not work-related.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECORD OR VIDEOTAPE THE EXAM
This is an absolute right under the law. Don’t be surprised if you receive a letter from the doctor, indicating that videotaping is not allowed. You can ignore that statement-you always have the right to videotape any interaction with the doctor.
You may arrive at the doctor’s office with your video camera, only to be instructed that you are not allowed to film the exam. If the doctor refuses to allow you to videotape the process, you have the right to refuse to submit to the examination.
CONTACT THE PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS AT MALLON & TRANGER
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a needless injury. To set up a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.