Do I Need an Independent Medical Exam for My Claim?

An Independent Medical Exam is a major part of every personal injury claim that comes with car claims. After a car crash, you probably went to either an Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Center. You may have gone to your own doctor or followed up with a team of recommended doctors. The thing is that you may need to go through an IME that the adjuster for your insurance company decides.

Are IMEs Actually Unbiased?

The idea that an individual medical exam is unbiased is wonderful. The insurance company wants to make sure that you didn’t scope out a doctor that helps in fraudulent claims. But that usually leads to a bias in the other direction.

These doctors often spend years working for insurance companies. That means that they have a typical client-customer relationship, so it’s reasonable that these doctors want to keep the insurance company happy. They may rule that your doctor’s findings were incorrect or that certain medical procedures were unnecessary.

That’s not always the case, but if it is, you’ll be glad that you have a car accident attorney. There are a few things that you can do to stop the bias that happens. For example, many car crash attorneys in Atlanta, GA, encourage people to bring a friend with them rather than their spouse. That way, it doesn’t seem like this friend will have anything to benefit from attending the meeting.

Then there is the possibility of exploring the medical options presented from the IME. This step makes it appear as if you’re willing to give this doctor’s theory a chance. However, always discuss it first with your doctor to make sure that it won’t derail your rehabilitation.

Obstacles to Expect in Your Independent Medical Exam

IMEs have a bad reputation because insurance companies largely use them to poke holes in a person’s claim. As a victim, it can seem utterly shattering to hear from a doctor that you’re not really hurt. Especially if you’re living with pain, day in and day out.

A doctor at an IME may find that you had these injuries before the crash and so the insurance claim will not cover them. Then you have to fight to show that you were healthy and uninjured before the crash.

Alternatively, they may argue that you’re not injured at all. In most cases, the doctor will rule that you were hurt, but not necessarily injured. They may downplay your injuries, noting that they’re not severe as your medical team says.

Now an IME isn’t the end-all, be-all. But it can slow down your case and greatly reduce your access to compensation. The purpose of these exams is for the insurance company to try and deny your claim.

When Do You Have to Do an Independent Medical Exam?

An Independent Medical Exam is part of a car crash claim in one of two situations. First, the insurance company or the other driver’s attorney believe you caused your own injuries, or there are no injuries. Second, the IME may come into play if you’ve filed under a single claim, which means that the other driver didn’t have insurance, and you’re relying on your UIM policy. In no-fault states, an IME is pretty standard as all no-fault claims raise some suspicion.

The most common situation is that the insurance company or the other driver believes you’re not honest about your injuries. They may claim that your injuries were present before the crash and that you’re using the crash to cover the medical recovery bills. Or, that you caused the crash to defraud your insurance policy.

If your insurance company has asked you for an IME, then it’s likely that you’re under some form of suspicion. Always keep an open line of communication with your attorney, so they know what to expect from the outcome of an Independent Medical Exam.  At some points, an insurance company can even submit their request for an exam through the court.

Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA

At The Weinstein Firm, we know that there’s a lot going on when it comes to medical issues after a crash. If you had any injuries or even just a residual soreness, it’s imperative that you have a medical evaluation. Your medical records in a car crash case could change the amount of your settlement or award substantially.

Contact us now. Call The Weinstein Firm for help in understanding your medical needs, and what strain those needs could put on your finances. We help people seek the financial recovery they need to get their life back on track.

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