(1) Any worker entitled to receive any benefits or claiming such under this title shall, if requested by the department or self-insurer, submit himself or herself for medical examination, at a time and from time to time, at a place reasonably convenient for the worker and as may be provided by the rules of the department. An injured worker, whether an alien or other injured worker, who is not residing in the United States at the time that a medical examination is requested may be required to submit to an examination at any location in the United States determined by the department or self-insurer.
(2) If the worker refuses to submit to medical examination, or obstructs the same, or, if any injured worker shall persist in unsanitary or injurious practices which tend to imperil or retard his or her recovery, or shall refuse to submit to such medical or surgical treatment as is reasonably essential to his or her recovery or refuse or obstruct evaluation or examination for the purpose of vocational rehabilitation or does not cooperate in reasonable efforts at such rehabilitation, the department or the self-insurer upon approval by the department, with notice to the worker may suspend any further action on any claim of such worker so long as such refusal, obstruction, noncooperation, or practice continues and reduce, suspend, or deny any compensation for such period: PROVIDED, That the department or the self-insurer shall not suspend any further action on any claim of a worker or reduce, suspend, or deny any compensation if a worker has good cause for refusing to submit to or to obstruct any examination, evaluation, treatment or practice requested by the department or required under this section.
(3) If the worker necessarily incurs traveling expenses in attending the examination pursuant to the request of the department, such traveling expenses shall be repaid to him or her out of the accident fund upon proper voucher and audit or shall be repaid by the self-insurer, as the case may be.
(4)(a) If the medical examination required by this section causes the worker to be absent from his or her work without pay:
(i) In the case of a worker insured by the department, the worker shall be paid compensation out of the accident fund in an amount equal to his or her usual wages for the time lost from work while attending the medical examination; or
(ii) In the case of a worker of a self-insurer, the self-insurer shall pay the worker an amount equal to his or her usual wages for the time lost from work while attending the medical examination.
(b) This subsection (4) shall apply prospectively to all claims regardless of the date of injury.
[1997 c 325 § 3; 1993 c 375 § 1; 1980 c 14 § 11. Prior: 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 50; 1977 ex.s. c 323 § 17; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 13; 1961 c 23 § 51.32.110; prior: 1917 c 28 § 18; 1915 c 188 § 5; 1911 c 74 § 13; RRS § 7688.]
Severability—Effective date—1977 ex.s. c 323:
See notes following RCW 51.04.040