The IME doctor may or may not see the surveillance photos. Some doctors will look at that stuff, some won't. You are required to go to the IME, so just go and do what is asked of you. If you have your ATP and your second opinion doctor both saying you need a surgery, the odds are pretty good you will get it regardless of what this new IME says. Now, that assumes that the ATP and your doctor know that you are capable of going to the gym. Sometimes if they see activity level that is high enough, they will change their opinions on surgery for the time being.
Either way, it's a good bet that you're still going to have to get a lawyer to get your surgery unless this upcoming IME also says you need it. Since the adjuster has waited so long to appove it, you can bet that he/she will fight it if the IME gives them any reason to fight it.
As you have found out the insurance company is not your friend. They want to do what they can to get out of paying for your medical care. And, if they are using their "favorite" doctor, even worse. Give me a call at 770-955-3000 or 800-900-2400 and I'll get you my report entitled "The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your Georgia Workers Compensation Case" including a section outlining"13 Dirty Tricks and Traps Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know That Could Instantly Wreck Your Case" . It discusses surveillance, 2nd opinions, company doctors, etc. and you will find it very helpful. You need trusted information to make sure the insurance company does the right thing and eventually pays you the full value for your case. Using doctors against you is a very common tactic. Unfortunately, you at war with the insurance company, but the good news is that after 21 years of doing Workers Compensation throughout Georgia I know that it is a war that can be won. Good luck my friend.
You really need to find an attorney to walk you through these steps. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a good idea to disclose to the doctor what you have been able to do when you go to the gym. This gives them a clear picture of your limitations, as well as undercuts any assertion that you are not hurt and trying to fool the system. If you are being up front with the doctor, it supports what you are saying about your injuries and that you have nothing to hide. Also, if the doctor feels that you could benefit from physical therapy rather than surgery, this may be an alternative you find works better than a fusion. Big if; however, I have had clients undergo fusions and do well, and others where the fusion does not last and the clients are permanently and totally disabled. Get with an attorney you are comfortable with to whom you can give all of your facts and documents, and listen to his or her advice. Why do you trust what a doctor tells you without trusting another professional to help you with your case?
The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP email@example.com 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 gadebtlaw.com hicksmasseyandgardner.com serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation
Do you have an attorney? If not you need one. Insurance companies do not play fair in particular when an attorney is not involved. If you do not have an attorney and you would like to discuss the matter further, please feel free to give our office a call. We will review your case free of charge.
Darrell B. Reynolds,
Attorney and Counselor at Law
2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
Decatur, Ga. 30033
Without more facts, it is difficult to determine exactly what this new IME doctor will be seeking, or whether he will have access to surveillance photos or videos, if any surveillance exists. The fact that you have been advised by an authorized treating physician that you need a multi-level fusion will make it difficult for the insurer to deny or refuse you this medical treatment regardless of whether they may be trying to limit their exposure by means of an IME or through the use of surveillance. Based on your question, I cannot determine if you have an attorney, and if you do, then you should discuss the specific facts of your claim with them offline. If you are currently without legal counsel, however, then you should hire an experienced Georgia Workers' Compensation attorney immediately, and I would welcome to discuss your claim with you directly. In addition, while I represent injured workers statewide, I would also recommend that you consult local attorney James Ivey, a workers' compensation attorney in Tifton for whom I have a great deal of respect and with whom I have worked closely in the past. Attorney Ivey also has a profile here on avvo.com should you wish to contact him directly. I wish you the very best in your claim and with your continued recovery.
Provision of information in response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship and the questioner is encouraged to seek and retain legal counsel in order to discuss their question(s) further and directly with legal counsel. Respondent is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Tennessee for non-Federal matters with a primary focus on personal injury and workers' compensation, and is also authorized by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants nationwide in Social Security Disability claims. The questioner is advised that some responses on this site are provided by attorneys who are not licensed in the respective jurisdiction of the questioner, and any advice from attorneys on this site concerning state-specific areas such as workers' compensation by attorneys who are not licensed in the applicable and appropriate jurisdiction should be viewed as for general educational purposes and should generally be given lesser weight than responses by attorneys licensed in the governing jurisdiction. Response to this question further assumes that the questioner is not currently represented by counsel, and if this is not the case, then it is recommended that any further questions or concerns be directed to their current legal counsel.