How far can I be forced to travel for a Workers Comp IME in PA, this will be my tenth IME, Ins Co is just Dr shopping IMO.

Asked about 1 year ago - Halifax, PA

Ins Co has set up IME that is about 75 miles one way for me to travel, I feel this is unreasonable and would like the IME to be done closer to my home. I have had 8 back surgeries and can not travel far in a car.

Additional information

I should have also added that the Insurance co. just had my 12th Utilization Review done in May of this year, they are fighting to stop paying for my prescriptions and also do not want to pay for a trial of a pain control pump and also removal of broken hardware in my back (second set). I want the hardware removed because it is broken and I feel it is adding to my pain and could be doing long term damage at this point. I greatly appreciate all the answers to this point, I am going to contact my Doctor and see about having him write a letter concerning the travel.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Richard Alan Jaffe

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    Answered . Section 314 of the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, as amended governs Independent Medical Examinations. There are several factors that go into whether or not you would be "forced" and/or "required" to attend and Independent Medical Examination that is more than 75 miles from your home. Based upon the information that you have provided, if your doctor were to indicate that you cannot travel such a distance it is unlikely that a Workers Compensation Judge would Order you to attend such an IME if there are doctors closer to your home.

    Please note that the Workers Compensation Carrier would be required to provide transportation to/from the IME in the event that you are "required" to attend same.

    If you are not currently represented by counsel, it is my recommendation that you immediately contact an Attorney who is Certified as a Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law to discuss your rights and obligations at the current time. Please note that most Attorneys will not charge for an initial consultation and will accept your claim on a Contingent Fee Basis.

    If you were my client, I would recommend not attending the IME and forcing the Workers Compensation Carrier to file a Petition to Compel a Physical Examination and prove to the WCJ that their request for such an IME is "reasonable and necessary." It would, however, be in your best interest to have an Attorney representing your interest at this time.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice... more
  2. Glenn Neiman

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    Answered . I agree with Richard. Ultimately, it comes down to what a Workers' Compensation Judge would find to be "reasonable" based on your situation (your location, the doctors in your area, your medical condition, etc). I would urge you to discuss your specific situation with an experienced PA workers' comp attorney.

    Glenn C. Neiman
    Brilliant & Neiman LLC
    www.bnlegal.com

  3. Geoffrey Hillsberg

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    Answered . I agree with the others that have answered. It will ultimately come down to what a Judge thinks is reasonable. Are there other options closer? Will your treating doctor write a note limiting how far/long you can travel based on your work injuries? Where in the state you reside? These are all factors for the Judge to consider. It is best to have experienced counsel at your side to help you through these matters.

  4. George Ellis Corson IV

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    Answered . It probably will depend on yur location. If the nearest corneal specialist is 100 miles away, 125 miles might be reasonable. If Chiropractors are on every corner, 40-50 miles might be reasonable. If you are on your 10th IME, you should strongly consider getting an Attorney to assemble the Disability puzzle for you.

    I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.
  5. Robert Alan Huber

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    Answered . It depends on many factors including where you live. If there are a lot of physicians who specialize in the area of medicine that your treating physician specializes in who are local, your attorney can object to having you travel a long distance for an IME. However,oat judges in my experience will let the insurance company have you examined by a doctor up to 2 hours away orate if they pay for your transportation. If the travel is more than you can tolerate due to your injuries, you can argue that as well but will need a doctor's note to back you up and an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help you. Good luck. Call if you need help.

  6. Terence Sean McGraw

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    Answered . Insurance companies will quickly agree to provide transportation to remove obstacles to your attendance. Your doctor says that you cannot sit in a car that long, they can offer a transport ambulance3 with a bed. I have had otherwise claimant oriented judges order my clients to get on a plane and travel to an IME. Each judge is different and it really depends on the judge. If you wind up going and being provided transportation, remember that the driver is not your friend and you should never discuss your case with strangers. And, as Mr. Jaffe mentioned, consultation with a Certified Workers Compensation lawyer is recommended.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice... more
  7. John M Connell

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    Answered . Mr Jaffe has provided a good answer for you. In most states the ins co can force you to attend an ime but if your physician feels the travel is unreasonable it gives you an argument but doesn't guarantee you won't have to go. If you don't have an attorney you are facing a difficult time dealing with them.

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