Auto Accident Lawyer Deer Park, TX
If you have filed a car accident claim, your insurance company may ask you to schedule an independent medical examination (IME). These exams are typically done by a medical doctor who has been chosen by, and works for, the insurance company. Usually they are required when the insurance company disagrees with what you doctor has diagnosed you with and any course medical treatment.
When our clients have to go to an IME, we often go over the process and explain what they can expect, and what they should and should not do. In general, it helps to have a car accident lawyer on your side.
Tips for Going to an Independent Medical Exam
There are things you can do during the exam and after to help protect your claim. The following are useful tips to consider.
Take a Friend or Family Member to the IME
Ask someone you can rely on to go with you to your IME. Be sure to explain what the IME is and what you want them to do. You can ask them to:
- Note the beginning and ending time of the exam
- What medical history questions are asked
- What other questions are asked
- What tests were performed
- How long the tests took
- Any other notable details
This individual could act as a potential witness just in case there are any arguments about the exam and its accuracy. It can also prevent the doctor from trying to intimidate you, which is unfortunately common.
Counter a Bad Report
Doctors who conduct IMEs work for the insurance company. This also means that they are generally not on your side and would like to please their employer. What they report back to the insurance company may include minimizing the extent of your injuries and the treatment you should have. It is possible to counter the doctor’s claims, and this is often what a car accident lawyer will do.
Get a Copy of the Report
You don’t have to discuss the report with the insurance company. In fact you should not do so, especially if you don’t have your own copy. It is possible the insurance company will provide you with portions of the report rather than the full version. You should make sure to get the entire report.
Point Out Inaccuracies
If you believe the report is inaccurate, untrue, or incomplete; and therefore, unreliable, you should make this known. In general, a lawyer will do this for you as long as you have retained one. Your own medical records may be used to contradict their own statements.
Ask a Doctor to Write You a Response
If your IME exam report is very negative or the insurance company is heavily using it against your claim, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor to review the report and write a letter that counters what the IME report is saying. Bare in mind that your doctor will likely charge you for this, so make sure to confirm the price ahead of time and think about whether it is worth the cost.
Ask About the Doctor’s Relationship with the Insurance Company
You can request how the IME doctor knows the insurance company, and how many referrals the company has given the doctor over the course of a 5 year period. You can also request the amount of money the doctor is paid and other valuable information. These details will almost certainly not be given to you by the insurance company; however, it does not look good if they refuse it.