“Independent” Medical Examinations

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There is nothing independent about the medical examinations set up the insurance carrier. These “doctors” are paid directly by the insurance carriers for their opinion regarding your injury. This opinion will have a significant impact on your benefits and could result in a reduction or even a stoppage of your weekly checks. Now, many independent medical examiners are fair and objective doctors who will assess your degree of disability according to the guidelines. It’s the others that we have to worry about. 

These are “doctors” who are merely shills that provide the opinions that insurance carrier want.  In return, these carriers pay them handsomely and continue to give them business.  Shills provide opinions that will result in reduced settlements, lower degree of disability affecting weekly checks and lower percentages on Scheduled Loss of Uses on extremities. 

Here are some tips:

  • Inform your attorney as soon as the IME is scheduled. He/She may have valuable insight regarding the examining doctor.
  • Do not exaggerate your symptoms or over-compensate during the examination.  Be honest and do your best to explain your injury and treatment for it.
  • Bring a friend/family member to videotape the examination.  Doctors may be a little more favorable if they know they are being taped.  Also, it may help your attorney during cross-examinations if there are any inconsistencies between the report and the videotape!

The moral of this story is not to underestimate an IME. Don’t assume that he will see the severity of your injury in the same way as your treating doctor views it.  The good news is that even if the IME  issues an unfavorable report, your attorney will have the right to cross-examine the doctor and the judge will determine whether your treating doctor or the carrier’s examiner’s opinion will control. 

Don’t fear the IME

 

Topics:  Healthcare, Medical Examinations

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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