Do You Know the Rule? Wash. IME Accompanying Person

25 Apr, 2024 Frank Ferreri


Seattle, WA ( -- Can a worker in the State of Washington bring someone with them to an independent medical examination?

The answer is yes, and here are the rules for when a worker has an accompanying person at an IME.

Workers can bring an adult observer to the IME to provide comfort and reassurance.

The accompanying person will not be compensated for attending the examination by the department or self-insured employer. The accompanying person must be unobtrusive at all times. Obtrusive behavior includes, but is not limited to, verbally or physically interrupting, interfering, or obstructing the examination in any way.

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The accompanying person cannot be:

(a) The worker's attorney, paralegal, any other legal representative, or any other personnel employed by the worker's attorney or legal representative; or
(b) The worker's attending provider, any other provider involved in the worker's care, or any other personnel employed by the attending provider or other provider involved in the worker's care.

Additionally, the department may designate other conditions under which the accompanying person is allowed to be present during the IME.

What about interpreters?

A worker may not bring an interpreter to the examination. If interpretive services are needed, the department or self-insurer will provide an interpreter.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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