Getting injured as the result of someone else’s negligence behind the wheel can leave you in a predicament. Your injuries may make it impossible for you to enjoy the things you once did, including working. If you can’t work, you can’t pay the bills, including the treatment you’ve received. You may find it necessary to file a lawsuit against the other party’s insurance company to get access to more money. A standard part of the process is an Independent Medical Examination or IME. While it may seem like something to be worried about, knowing these three basic facts can ease your mind and help you get through it.
- The Reason for an IME
An IME is very typical during any personal injury lawsuit. The process begins when the defendant asks for its doctor or set of doctors to examine the plaintiff. The doctor must be board-certified and in good standing with the American Medical Association. Some IME doctors are specialists in performing these types of examinations and preparing the requisite paperwork for court. The IME may consist of a physical exam and testing. You may wind up repeating some of the tests you have already undergone. This is normal. The defendant wants a chance to refute your medical record with one of their own.
- The Process
You will show up at the appointed time and place for the exam. You may bring someone with you to the exam like a spouse or friend. These are typically lengthy as the doctor wants to get a complete picture without having to follow you for months. The doctor has already reviewed all of your treatment to date, and may ask you to recount the incident leading to the injuries, the treatment thus far and the diagnoses. You will then be examined and diagnostic testing may commence. There is a chance you already had to undergo some of the tests in advance of this exam. It all depends on how the doctor wants to handle things.
- The Effect on Your Claim
The doctor then compiles and writes a report based on his their observations and findings. The doctor’s report may agree in part or whole with the doctors you have already treated with. However, there is a chance that the IME may disagree in part or whole with the previous findings. The result this can have on your claim vary based on these findings, how far along you are in the process and the type of injuries claimed. Know that IME reports can be refuted, and your car accident lawyer will understand what to do.
It is a good idea to engage the services of an attorney so you may have the chance at a favorable outcome.