What Is An Independent Medical Examination For WorkCover? 

Towards the end of your WorkCover Queensland statutory claim, Workcover will send you for an Independent Medical Examination.

 

There are two reasons for the Independent Medical Examination.

 

  • To determine if your injuries are stable and stationary
  • To assess if you have suffered permanent impairment.

 

The examination is done by a specialist. WorkCover chooses the specialist.

 

Regular doctor vs workcover’s independent examination doctor

Your regular doctor is there to treat you.

 

WorkCover’s doctor is hired by WorkCover. They do not treat you. In fact, there is no doctor-patient relationship between you. Nothing you say to them is confidential. Most of these doctors won’t even tell you what they think of your condition, because they only advise Workcover.

 

You might ask, are these doctors really independent? The answer is they are independent in the sense that they are not formally employed by WorkCover. However, WorkCover maintains a panel of doctors whom they use in each area of specialty. (For example, if you suffered a disc bulge injury, you need an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon.) This means that you can’t just say to WorkCover that you want your specialist to perform the independent medical examination. WorkCover will choose someone from their own list, and these specialists tender to be included in the list in order to get this lucrative work.

 

What happens at the independent medical examination

WorkCover’s specialist will ask you questions about how your incident happened. 

 

The doctor will also ask you about your current symptoms and limitations.

 

This will be followed by an examination. A few things to remember here:

 

  • if the doctor asks you do something (such as bend your knees, twist etc) do it but don’t try to do more than you can without pain. WorkCover doctors will commonly encourage you to do more (“surely this doesn’t hurt yet…“). This is a trap. In their report, they will say you could do what they asked you to do, but they won’t report that you suffered pain.
  • during the examination, be honest. Doctors can spot if you pretend that something hurts when it doesn’t.
  • WorkCover’s doctors may try and suggest to you that your injuries in fact happened outside of work. This is a try on. Don’t let yourself be pressured into something that’s not true.

The examination usually takes between 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours although some examinations can take longer. The doctor will ask you questions about your incident, your injuries, symptoms, difficulties at work and at home. They will perform a physical examination. Then, when you have left  they will write a detailed (8-10 pages on average) report to whoever engaged them (sometimes they dictate this while you are still there).

 

For our clients, we provide a written memo before the examination to outline in detail what to expect. This will ensure there are no surprises and that you get the most out of the examination and report.

 

Free book offer: what to expect in your injury claim

Many firms try to rush you to sign up with them without carefully considering your options. We encourage you to first learn about your personal injury claim. You should ask yourself:

 

  • How do you calculate your compensation amount?
  • How should you choose your lawyer? Do you just choose by firm name regardless of who is really in charge of your matter? Has your lawyer ever argued a case in court?
  • What is a no win – no fee agreement? How much will it cost? 

Our book is available to you free of charge. You don’t have to be a client to receive this book. Head to the order page and we will be happy to send you a copy straight away.

Oszkar Denes Seven Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim

25% cap on legal costs

 

In Queensland, most compensation firms will charge you 50% of your compensation amount – the maximum allowed at law. This is very expensive. Our fee is different. We will cap our fee at 25% if we don’t have to file a claim in court. If we have to file a claim in court, then the cap is 33%.  Remember also, these are the maximum fees we will charge. If our fee in your claim is less, then we charge the lesser amount.

 

Before you engage us, we will provide you a written Disclosure Notice and a Client Service Agreement. These documents set out in detail the service we provide, as well as our fees and outlays. Before you sign anything, you can take these documents home with you, and study them with your family. You can take as long as you need, there is never any pressure from us. If anything in these documents doesn’t make sense to you, we can discuss it with you and you are free to ask another lawyer to give you advice.  And remember, no win – no fee agreements come with a 5 day cooling off period for extra peace of mind.