What Is an Independent Medical Exam After an Accident?

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Independent Medical Exam After an Accident

Dealing with injuries you sustained in an automobile accident is hard enough. Unfortunately, the situation is made even more difficult when your insurance company asks you to undergo an Independent Medical Exam (IME).

The name of this examination is misleading. It is far from independent since it is required by an adverse party who is only interested in minimizing their own liability. It is also not medical in nature since nothing learned from the exam will be used for treatment purposes. The objective of the independent medical examination is to create a justifiable excuse to deny your valid claim. Before attending your IME, contact Christensen Law for help and advice.

What Is an Independent Medical Exam?

In its simplest form, an IME is a medical evaluation performed on you by a medical professional. The exam is often required as part of a personal injury claim. The doctor has not previously been involved in your treatment and is asked to evaluate your prior treatment and current condition.
There are pitfalls involved with an IME that could negatively impact your claim. The consequences could be devastating. An IME is an open invitation to dispute the nature and severity of the injuries you claim were caused by the accident. It can also be used to discredit your claim entirely.
An IME is a tool insurance companies use to limit their exposure and lower the payout you are due.

Am I Required to See an IME Doctor?

An IME is required primarily in two circumstances:

  • Where you’re claiming the accident caused your injuries. The doctor will likely report that your reported injuries don’t exist, are not as severe as you claim, or your injuries weren’t caused by the accident.
  • When your claim is filed under your no-fault car insurance. Your policy will probably include a requirement that you cooperate by attending an IME. In such an instance, if you refuse, your insurance company may deny your claim.

Whose Side Is an IME Doctor On?

Insurance companies choose and pay the IME doctors, so they don’t want practitioners who are truly independent. They prefer doctors who are likely to find discrepancies in your injuries and how they are affecting you as a result of the accident.
Some doctors also have a financial incentive to side with the insurance company that hired them. They command generous fees for performing IMEs – literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and of course they want to keep this business coming in. For a number of reasons, IMEs are rarely helpful to a victim’s claim.

Christensen Law Can Protect You After Your Car Accident

When your health and your future are on the line, you need a law firm that will do whatever it takes. At Christensen Law, we know the tactics insurance companies use. We welcome the opportunity to build a strong case on your behalf and obtain the compensation you need to fully recover from your injuries.
You can focus on healing, knowing we are on your side. Your initial consultation is free; call us today or fill out our online contact form to learn more.