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How Do I Request a QME Panel in California?

How Do I Request a QME Panel in California?

When an individual is injured in a work-related accident, they would be entitled to the benefits of workers' compensation—since all employers in the state of California are legally required to purchase this form of insurance on their behalf. In order to successfully file a claim for the reimbursement of their medical expenses, however, they must receive a medical evaluation from a doctor who is certified by the California Division of Workers' Compensation Medical Unit. These physicians are called "qualified medical evaluators," as they alone have the power to evaluate disability claims and submit a medical-legal report. It is their responsibility to fairly and comprehensively assess the extent of the worker's injuries, but in some cases, the individual or the insurance company may want to dispute their findings.

If you received a qualified medical evaluation in which the doctor claimed that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant a substantial amount of compensation, you may be interested in seeking a second opinion. The same would apply if the insurance company disagreed with the doctor's findings, as they would need to ensure that they are not providing the injured worker with more money than is necessary. Under either of these circumstances, it would be necessary to request a qualified medical evaluation (QME) panel. In doing so, the disputing party would be able to obtain an independent medical-legal report of the injured worker's injuries. The QME process was designed to protect the rights of the worker—as it would prevent the insurance company from utilizing a physician with whom they had a personal relationship.

In order to request a QME panel, it is advisable that you enlist the help of an Oakland workers' compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand. Your attorney will be able to notify the state that you would like to initiate this process, and the state would subsequently provide you with a list of three doctors in the area who are qualified to conduct the examination. It would then be up to you to select a physician and schedule an appointment for the exam. Although this can be extremely beneficial to the success of your workers' compensation claim, it may also work against you. At the end of the day, it will depend on the mindset of the doctors who have been randomly selected by the state. Some are more employer-oriented while others are more sympathetic to the injured worker, so it is highly recommended that you let an attorney guide these decisions.

Learn how The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand can assist you in requesting a QME panel by contacting the firm today at (888) 245-6507.


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