What to avoid saying during a workers comp exam

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What to avoid saying during a workers comp exam

An injury at work usually means a visit to the doctor. A doctor visit ensures that the injury gets treated properly and helps a worker get a fair compensation. Worker’s compensation in California pays for the employee’s treatment and lost wages from work. However, there are some things an injured employee should not say because it impacts getting compensated.


Worker’s compensation often requires workers have an Independent Medical Exam, which is separate from the employee’s standard doctor. IME doctors have knowledge on work-related injuries to determine if an employee has a qualifying injury for compensation.

The doctor may ask such questions as when the employee first noticed symptoms, pre-existing conditions, injury severity and applicable physical limitations. The employee should be honest since doctors can detect symptom exaggerations by testing reactions to pain an image testing.

Making up non-existent symptoms

Employees should also avoid making up fake symptoms; as with exaggerating, the doctor will discover it quickly. In other words, if an employee can bend over, they need to show that they can. Likewise, the symptoms don’t have to be minimized to make the injury more believable.

Omitting past injuries

Employees are often tempted to omit past injuries for fear of getting claims denied. However, the doctor could still find evidence of past injuries in medical histories or upon examination. They may think that the employee is trying to get compensated for an old, unrelated injury.

Omitting accident details

The IME doctor will ask the employee how the accident happened. Employees may try to avoid giving details for fear of looking incompetent. The employer has likely told their side of the story, and the doctor could immediately recognize inconsistencies.

When talking to IME doctors, employees don’t gain anything by talking poorly about employers or being rude. Doctors aren’t purposefully trying to get a claim denied. If an employee feels that they are being treated unfairly, they can seek the assistance of a workers comp attorney. An attorney may guide the employee through the appeals process for a denied claim.


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