What is an Independent Medical Examination In A Boca Raton Crash Claim?
When you file a car accident claim, you are required to provide the relevant evidence. For instance, if you are seeking damages for your injuries, you must provide medical records to confirm the nature and severity of your injuries, like an independent medical examination. Even when you do provide such evidence, it is very likely that the insurer may dispute it or ask you to undergo an independent medical examination.
What Is Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
Independent medical examination is a medical exam that is performed by a doctor chosen by the insurance company. The job of the chosen doctor is to thoroughly examine you, ask you questions about your injuries and then ascertain whether your injuries are as severe as you claim.
Independent medical examination is not a legal requirement in most cases. If you have already provided medical evidence to back up your claim of accident-related injuries, that should be sufficient. However, if you are seeking damages under your no-fault coverage, independent medical examination may be a binding legal obligation for you as a claimant.
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that in most car accident cases, you will be seeking damages from your own insurer. In such a scenario, you will likely be required to undergo IME. However, if you are not using the no-fault coverage and the insurer asks you to voluntarily undergo an IME, you can refuse the insurer without any legal repercussions.
What Happens At An IME?
During an IME, the doctor may perform medical tests, ask you about your medical history and inquire about the specific details of your injury. The doctor performing the IME may act in an intimidating manner to try and falsify your claim of injuries or pressure you into saying something that can be used against you.
This is why it is a good idea to go well prepared to an IME. It is highly recommended that you consult an experienced Boca Raton car crash attorney before you go to the IME. In some cases, the attorney may even be allowed to attend the exam.
However, if an attorney can’t accompany you, you can still take a family member or friend to the examination. The presence of a friendly figure has many benefits. It helps you feel confident, lets a third person observe the proceedings of the exam and allows you to invoke this person as a witness should you need to dispute the doctor’s findings. In fact, it is best if the person accompanying you notes down the key details of the exam, such as the time the doctor arrived, the questions you were asked, the tests performed and so on.
With an observer jotting down all the important details, the IME doctor will be discouraged from making any unfair observations or being rude to you in any other way.
Challenging An IME Report
An IME report may try to paint your injuries as minor, nonserious or even unrelated to the crash. This is simply because IME doctors work for insurance companies. It’s a good thing that you have plenty of options to counter this report.
If your insurance adjuster says that the IME report contradicts your claim, the first thing you should do is ask for a copy of the report. Make sure you don’t discuss the report with the adjuster unless you have your copy.
Once you have a copy of the report, you can then point out the flaws or errors made by the inspecting doctor. You can also cite the notes taken by your family member or friend who accompanied you on the IME. It is also useful to let the insurer know that this person is ready to act as a witness in order to testify about the lack of professionalism, or falsification of facts, on the part of the IME doctor.
In most cases, the insurer will use the IME doctor’s report to offer you a lower amount of damages. If you are prepared for this and ready to counter any pressure tactics that the adjuster will likely use, you may still be able to recover fair compensation. However, the help of a good lawyer is critical at this stage.
Hiring A Reliable Car Crash Attorney In Boca Raton
If you have filed a car accident claim and your insurer has asked you to undergo an IME, we can help you. Here at Englander Peebles, we work with Boca Raton car accident victims. Our attorneys can help you prepare for an IME and work with you to counter an unfair report from the IME doctor. Call us today to schedule a free session with our lawyers and to discuss your claim.