What is the Difference Between an EME and an IME in a comp case?
When a worker is injured, they will likely see a doctor for treatment and medical opinions. For an example, let’s say the injury is carpal tunnel syndrome from some type of repetitive use. Let’s say the worker’s initial doctor is of the opinion that the carpal tunnel is related to the job and provides an impairment rating. Meaning the arms are not 100% and won’t get better.
The employer has a right to require the injured worker to go to a doctor of its choosing for a second opinion. This is called an EME or Employer’s Medical Exam. This doctor is paid by the workers’ comp insurance company, and the doctor’s opinion is not usually as favorable to the injured worker. This is not always the case, but often times it is.
What happens if the second opinion is very different from the treating physician’s opinion? The Workers’ Compensation Commission judge assigned to the case may order yet another opinion to “break the tie”. This is called an Independent Medical Examination or an IME. This doctor is either chosen by the judge, or the attorneys may agree upon the doctor.
Have a great rest of the week!
“Judge less, love more.” - JKR