A lot of employees who are injured at work are nervous about their independent medical exam. One of the most common questions we get is: can an independent medical exam report make you go back to work after sustaining a work injury?

The Short Answer

No, the Independent Medical Exam (IME) report cannot make you go back to work.  The choice to go back to work is entirely your own.

That being said, you should exercise caution before making the decision to refuse a job offer. If your refusal is determined to be unreasonable, the workers compensation insurer can cut off your wage loss.  In determining what is considered “reasonable”, the IME looks at the facts of your specific case.

In reviewing your decision, your doctor’s opinion and restrictions will be considered.  The judge will also consider additional factors which might be preventing you from going back to work.  For example, if you worked nights prior to getting injured so that you could watch your kids during the day, and now the company wants you to go back to work during the day, your refusal will likely be considered reasonable.  If you refuse to return because you “aren’t ready” despite being cleared by a doctor, or you don’t want to go back to work for that employer, your refusal will likely be ruled unreasonable.

Minnesota Work Comp Attorney

Listening to the advice of your doctor is generally a good idea, but you should also consult a trained workers’ compensation attorney before refusing any job offers.