Workers Comp QME Psych evaluation?

I have a workers comp lawsuit in process as my original injury claim was denied. Depos have been given & I finally received a QME list & will be scheduled soon for psych eval for compensatory damages. The simple act of chosing from the list & a pending upcoming appointment sent me into a mental meltdown crisis mode & I ended up back in the Emergency Room. Anything that has to do with my previous employer STILL throws me mentally for a loop & off balance~I know my psych has been permanently damaged. I even question PTSD because it all takes me right back to square one. Please help me understand what the actual QME Psych exam consists of? How long does the eval take? Is it a standard set of questions as well as a free for all of questions? ...I have no doubt I will cry the entire exam.

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Nancy J Wallace

Nancy J Wallace

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - San Bernardino, CA
Answered

OF WHAT DOES THE QME PSYCHIATRIC EXAM CONSIST??

(1) you answer WRITTEN questions. Usually for hours. You'll be given the personality inventory... think that's about 450 quick little questions, many are essentially the same question asked with different phrases to see whether you answer the same or differently to the same question posed over and over.

(2) After you answer all the medical history and test questions, you meet with the Assistant. The assistant just checks to see that you aren't strung out on street drugs and are generally coherent.

(3) Finally you meet with the physician. The physician can ask you the same questions you answered for hours earlier. Again, the test is to see if you just make up random responses or whether you answer the same to repeat questions.

If you 'cry the entire exam' the physician could choose to re-schedule for a time when you can control your emotions sufficiently to converse intelligently. If you can never converse intelligently and cannot complete the QME, the judge could 'suspend' the claim until such time as you can converse intelligently and participte fully in the QME evaluation.

IT CAN BE A FREE-FOR-ALL of questions. The questions will be more about your previous psychiatric problems than the current incident with the employer. The physician already has details about the current incident with the employer...what the doctor requires is how high was your pyschiatric functioning PRIOR TO the incident with the employer.

It would be to your advantage and in your best interest to make every attempt to control your emotion as best you can during the evaluation to complete it effectively.

AS MR. BORAH WRITES, you needed to spend more time EXTREMELY CAREFULLY SELECTING the doctor from the list instead of worrying about questions during an exam.

IF YOU PICKED a physician friendly or 'in bed' with the Insurance company, you've already lost.

Did you check out the QME names on google? Yelp? Manta? Healhgrades? Vitals? other MPN lists? Do you know if your QME is the adjuster's best friend??

YOU WOULD BE WISE TO THOROUGHLY RESEARCH THE QME physicians and pick the one most friendly to 'plaintiffs' and injured workers... once you've picked the most friendly doctor on the list, you can stop worrying about which questions are going to asked.

Brett A. Borah

Brett A. Borah

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Cupertino, CA
Answered

You need to get to a lawyer right away....on several levels.
1. if you cannot deal with this situation, you need someone on your team to run interference for you. Someone to act as a buffer between you and the litigation. That someone would be a good w.c. attorney.
2. The QME process is critical to your case. Just deciding on which of the three panel doctors you want can make or break your case. Some are very insurance company oriented...some are very injured worker oriented. Pick the right one and you've made your case. Pick the wrong one and no one can help you. Someone who has read hundreds of psych doctor reports and knows the doctors can help you make the right choice. That someone is called a good w.c. attorney. Do not select a QME without consulting a good w.c. attorney. Do not go to a QME without consulting a good w.c. attorney.

There are some great w.c. attorneys in the L.A. area. Find a good one here at www.avvo.com or at www.caaa.org. CAAA is the association for attorneys here in California who represent injured workers. Or you can call me for a referral. Good luck.

Dennis Anthony Sommese

Dennis Anthony Sommese

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Sacramento, CA
Answered

Having a Pschological Stress Claim as a result of a On The Job Injury can be very stressful initself. Each and every time you deal with an issue you have to RELIVE the very DEBILITATING situation that caused your immediate condition. The simple answer is to get Competent Legal Help. However, Psych-Stress claims are among the MOST DIFFICULT in every State and Federal Jurisdiction. Many Attorneys are not interested in these type of cases. The simple answer is to get legal help. Having said that, it is easier said than done. California has an Office of Information and Assistance that can give you some help and also a referral list of competent attorneys in your location.

Legal issues are serious matters and deserve consultation with a Competent Attorney in your city or state. The... more

Questions? An attorney can help.

Ask a Question
Free & anonymous.
Find a Lawyer
Free. No commitment.