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.
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.