IMEs – What are my Rights?
Under WAC 296-23-362, injured workers have the right to bring an adult friend or family member to Independent Medical Exams (IMEs), except for a mental health examination. The role of the observer is to provide comfort and reassurance. IME companies must accommodate any worker requests for an observer during a non-mental health IME. IME companies are also not allowed to discuss limitations on observers during IMEs to the worker, either in written or spoken form. The IME company must ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety requirements for six feet of social distancing.
The IME company must obtain information related to observers prior to the IME to ensure the appropriate exam room size. If you, as the worker, would like an observer to accompany you to the IME, you must reach out the IME company to let them know of this intent. If the company cannot accommodate the observer, the IME will need to be rescheduled.
If you are a client of Small Snell Weiss & Comfort, please call our office and let us know of your intent to have an observer attend your IME. We will then notify the IME company on your behalf.