Sunday, June 05, 2011
A DIME or Division Independent Medical Examination is a very unique process which allows those requesting it to seek to obtain a truly neutral evaluation of a claimant's impairment and treatment plus even more. It is a powerful force in keeping the system honest since most treating physicians have been selected by the employer/insurer and many claimants remain suspicious of that. To claimants such physicians often seem not to be on their side. In point of fact they may be quite capable but there are others who may be less then thorough or devoted to the patient/claimant. A DIME affords a claimant or even the other side the opportunity to have treatment and impairment reviewed. Moreover the law has made a DIME a strong force that can only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence in most cases. There are exceptions but the general rule requires strong evidence to overcome the DIME opinion especially on the issue of MMI or impairment. The Division has a brochure available to review the DIME process and it is worth reading. In my practice we use the DIME process in the vast majority of cases though in some cases we do accept the treaters opinion. By the way you can agree with the treaters rating but still seek permanent total disability by objecting and following through as set forth by the law. A physician may say you have 20% impairment but for you perhaps you can no longer work. You have the right to seek total disability but you must act timely and sensibly to make your case. A lawyer is usually essential here.