Is Nebraska workers’ compensation law clear on when an insurer/employer can make a plaintiff submit to a medical exam?

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What right does an employer/insurer have to make an injured worker submit to a medical examination? I think there is ambiguity between statute and court rules in Nebraska.

Under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-134, an employee must submit to an examination from time to time during the continuance of their disability. Sounds like and open and shut case. But, consider the following:

Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-163 authorizes the court to enact procedural rules. Nebraska Workers Compensation Court Rule 4 enacted the Nebraska Court Rules of Discovery in Civil Cases.

Discovery Rule 6-335 authorizes medical examinations only upon motion for good cause shown. To me, that means an employer/insurer would need to make a motion for a defense examination show the court why the examination is necessary.

I realize this is a somewhat controversial proposition.  But even if you blanche at applying the idea in its entirety, a less controversial application of Rule 35 would be to require a motion and proof of good cause if an insurer/employer is ordering a functional capacity evaluation. (FCE) FCEs are done by physical therapist and physical therapists aren’t physicians under Nebraska Workers Compensation Court Rules 49(P) or 10.

I believe 6-335 allows examinations from a broader class of examiners, but it clearly imposes more procedural and evidentiary burdens on defendants. Requiring court orders for examinations would also encourage defendants to see if plaintiffs would agree to certain examiners in order to forgo a motion where they would have the burden of proof.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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