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Overview on Obtaining a Panel Qualified Medical Examiner (PQME)

THIS GUIDE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE USED IN PLACE OF AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY. ALSO, LAWS FREQUENTLY CHANGE. THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN IN MAY OF 2011 AND CANNOT POSSIBLY CONTEMPLATE FUTURE CHANGES IN THE LAW. IF YOU FIND YOURSELF USING THIS GUIDE, THEN PLEASE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL ADVICE. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED WITH MR. OVERHOLT OR HIS FIRM THROUGH THE VIEWING OR USE OF THIS GUIDE.

Relevant Statutes on Obtaining a Panel Qualified Medical Examiner (PQME)

If you are represented by an attorney, then your attorney can offer an Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME) – IF no response in 10 days after the written proposal, then file for PQME. See California Labor Code §4062.2

The Medical Director must assign a 3 member Panel within 5 working days of receiving a request for a panel. If a Panel is not assigned within 15 working days, then the employee can use any qualified medical evaluator that they want. Labor Code § LC 139.2(h)(1).

Proposal to other party – Within 10 days of the Administrative director issuing the Panel, must try to agree on one of the Panel doctors. After the 10th day, then the parties may each strike a name. See Labor Code § 4062.2(c).

Time to Strike – must make a strike within 3 working days of obtaining the right to strike. If a party fails to strike within this time frame, then the party may choose the physician that remains on the panel. See Labor Code §4062.2(c).

If need a different PQME for a different body part, then parties can stip that they need another doctor to resolve different medical issues, as long as the stipulation also says that the parties tried to get an AMA. See Title 8 C.C.R. §31.7(b)(3). Please see also generally §31.7(b) for other options.

Additional resources provided by the author

http://www.hrollp.com
http://www.dir.ca.gov/DWC/

Also see California Applicants' Attorney Association

For Information for Injured Workers' from the California Information and Assistance Unit, you can call 1-800-736-7401.

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