NNNicolet Law Office, S.C.
800-456-6956
CALLS ANSWERED 24/7. FREE CONSULTATIONS. SERVING WI & MN EMAIL

The not-so independent medical examiner

Workplace injuries are not unusual. So many people are hurt while working that an entire system had to be created to address the problem. While an injury at home or on the roads may involve a finding of negligence, workplace injuries avoid that. Workers who are injured are, for the most part, barred from pursuing personal injury lawsuits against their employers. In exchange, employers must carry workers' compensation insurance which will pay for costs such as medical care, some lost wages and expenses tied to long-term disability.

Unfortunately, employers and their insurers are sometimes reluctant to live up to even the minimal requirements of workers' compensation law. One way they seek to avoid their responsibilities is through the use of "independent" doctors who are quite reliably not independent

A stacked deck

Most employees will file zero or one workers' compensation claim over the course of their careers. Insurance companies handle thousands of these claims. They are repeat customers when it comes to needing favorable medical findings. They are naturally drawn to doctors who somehow always conclude that a worker is healthy enough to return to work, regardless of that worker's actual condition. In Wisconsin, these "independent" medical examiners don't even have to be licensed, or located within the state, to help employers deny valid compensation claims.

Part of the problem is that the independent medical examiners have nothing on the line when it comes to incorrect reports. They are not held to the same standards as a treating physician. They cannot be sued for medical malpractice. Their only financial incentive is in getting their fees paid by the employer's insurance company.

Who are they fooling?

Workers who don't understand the biased nature of these examiners could be pressured into returning to work before they are able. They could miss out on benefits to which they are legally entitled. Not everyone understands that these doctors can lie about a diagnosis with no repercussions. 

In the courtroom, the injured worker and the employer each have an opportunity to present their side of the issue. While the results might not always be fair, there is a sort of balance. The damage these independent medical examiners do is limited once a case proceeds to trial. That is why it is so important for workers to realize that they should not take an independent medical examiner at his or her word. It is always a good idea to get the opinion of a non-biased medical professional when it comes to workplace injuries.

 

Awards & Recognition

Our peers and independent third-party organizations have recognized the hard work and dedication we put into every case. This has led to numerous awards and accolades.

  1. Rated By Super Lawyers | Russel D. Nicolet
    Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Bankruptcy
  2. The American Association of Legal Advocates Wisconsin Association for Justice BBB Accredited Business - A+
  3. Minnesota State Bar Association American Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin
  4. BV Distinguished | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability The National Trial Lawyers

Office Locations

Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Law Office Map

Wausau Office
408 Third Street, Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54401

Phone: 715-716-4673
Wausau Law Office Map

Rice Lake Office
337 N. Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: 715-802-0872
Rice Lake Law Office Map

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave, Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: 715-802-0872
Eau Claire Law Office Map

Woodbury Office
724 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-243-2872
Woodbury Law Office Map

Amery Office
228 Keller Ave N., Suite 3A
Amery, WI 54001

Phone: 715-802-0872
Amery Law Office Map

Superior Office
1720 North Twelfth Street
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-802-0872
Superior Law Office Map

New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave., Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-802-0872
New Richmond Law Office Map

Satellite Offices

Regional Office Map

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. helps people throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota including; Hudson, Eau Claire, Superior, Wausau, Amery, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Menomonie, Hayward, New Richmond, Spooner, Bloomer and Barron.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.