Insurer's Independent Medical Exam for UPS Drivers
As a UPS driver, you need to use considerable strength and skill to control a heavy truck. You face the chance of serious injuries due to chronic strain, as well as accidents. If you are concerned about an insurer’s independent medical exam for UPS drivers, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also pursue personal injury lawsuits and SSDI claims so we can look at all potential areas of relief.Insurer’s Independent Medical Exam for UPS Drivers
As a UPS driver in Chicago, you may find yourself seriously injured in collisions with other vehicles. While delivering packages to a customer’s doorstep, you may face dangerous property conditions such as a broken sidewalk, broken steps, or a car backing out of the driveway. You may be harmed by a property owner’s dog or other pet. Wear and tear can occur simply while driving a heavy truck and may result in chronic conditions. In some cases, UPS drivers suffer a flare-up or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition such as a disc herniation. As a UPS driver, if you are in any of these situations, you may require medical care and you may not be able to work for a certain period of time as you recuperate. In the case of catastrophic injuries, you may not be able to work again or you may not be able to continue working as a UPS driver. To understand your rights, meet with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
When an insurer is skeptical of a UPS driver’s claim, it may ask the driver to go through what’s called an independent medical exam (IME). In spite of its name, insurers tend to retain those IME doctors who have a history of recommending conservative treatments or siding with insurers over injured workers. There are situations in which two doctors may have conflicting viewpoints. An arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission may need to weigh the credibility of the doctors’ opinions about a wide range of issues, including whether:
- Your work injuries aggravated a preexisting condition
- The injuries are job-related
- The injuries are as severe as your doctor claims
- You are partially or totally disabled by job-related injuries
- You require surgery or another procedure
- Limitations on your ability to work for UPS or another employer, such as restrictions on the amount of weight you can lift.
You may be reluctant to go to an IME, knowing that the doctor examining you may be biased in favor of UPS’ insurer. However, if you don’t go to the IME, an insurer can stop paying you benefits. Accordingly, it is critical to go to the IME, while also bearing in mind that the doctor is not your treating physician, and doesn’t owe you the same duty that’s owed by your own doctor. Everything you say can be shared with the insurer.What Happens at an IME?
UPS’ insurer is entitled to ask that you see a doctor it has chosen for your work injuries. The doctor conducting the IME will review your medical records even before seeing you. Before the IME, a nurse or doctor may watch you as you exit your car or other transport in which you arrived, and you may also be observed when you leave. The purpose of these observations is to figure out whether you are being truthful during the exam about what your range of motion and your ability to perform other tasks is.
During the IME, the doctor will conduct a physical exam. You’ll be asked about your injuries and what treatment you’ve undergone already, as well the treatment you’re currently going through. A doctor will also decide whether you’ve arrived at maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this point, you won’t improve any further. Your doctor may have arrived at a different conclusion than the one the IME doctor reaches. For instance, your doctor may believe you have significant restrictions on your ability to work, such that you may not be able to drive for a living anymore and you may need to undergo vocational rehabilitation. The IME doctor may look at the same symptoms and express the opinion that you are only partially disabled and simply need some restrictions on the time you spend on the road and the packages you lift.Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney Who Represents Injured UPS Workers
An insurer’s independent medical exam for UPS drivers can exert a substantial influence on an arbitrator. The seasoned Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can provide legal representation to UPS drivers with questioned or disputed claims or claims. We also represent UPS drivers in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, and Rockford, as well as Winnebago, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Cook Counties. If you sustained an injury while working at UPS, you should call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.