In Colorado, there are important differences between an IME, or Independent Medical Exam and a DIME, or Division Independent Medical Exam.
An IME can be performed by any doctor. Either you or the insurance carrier can send you to a doctor for an IME to get additional information about things like your condition, whether your injury is work related or have you reached maximum medical improvement?
A DIME, on the other hand, is different because the Division of Workers’ Compensation selects (at random) a panel of three doctors. You and the insurance carrier must eliminate one doctor on the list. The DIME doctor will decide whether they agree with your doctor’s date of MMI, and will calculate an impairment rating.
Choosing the DIME doctor can have drastic consequences for your case. If your case ends up in court, the DIME doctor’s opinion is entitled to extra weight, and can only be overcome with “clear and convincing” evidence. Therefore, it is crucial to select a doctor who is likely to be fair to you.
The law requires you to negotiate with the insurance company and try to agree on a doctor to perform the DIME.
- Of course, the claims adjuster has done this multiple times and knows which doctors are more likely to favor the insurance company and the employer.
- On the other hand, you have no way to know which doctors tend to be fair.
- For this reason, it is easy for the adjuster to take advantage of you and trick you into agreeing to an unfavorable doctor.
- At the very least, you lose the opportunity to suggest a reasonable doctor that the insurance company might agree to.
If you cannot agree with the adjuster on a doctor to perform the DIME, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will issue a list of three doctors, and each side has a chance to strike one doctor. The adjuster knows what doctor on the list will give them the best result, but you are unlikely to know which doctor is most likely to be fair to you. For these reasons, it’s advisable to have a competent attorney working for you to maximize your odds of a favorable DIME.