Do I Need An Independent Medical Exam After a Crash?
Vehicle accidents often result in an injury for those involved. In some cases, a vehicle accident may only result in a minor injury for a driver or passenger. However, there are times when injuries are more severe. Any person who has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual should be entitled to compensation for their losses. However, insurance carriers may request that you go through an independent medical exam. If your insurance carrier has asked that you do this, you may be concerned that they are doing so to try and reduce the value of your claim. Here, we want to discuss the purpose of an independent medical exam and what you can do if your insurance carrier requests one.
What Is an Independent Medical Exam?
An independent medical exam (IME) is an examination performed by a third-party physician. When you file an insurance claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, you may very well be asked to complete an independent medical exam by the other driver’s carrier. It is important to point out that the other insurance carrier is not on your side, and they do not want to pay out any settlement claim on your behalf. This exam will help substantiate your claim for damages and allow the insurance carrier to have some verification about the extent of your injuries.
What Happens During an Independent Medical Exam?
When you go to a doctor for an independent medical exam, it will be similar to going to any other appointment. At this point, it is very likely that you have already been evaluated by a doctor of your choosing after the car accident occurred. You can expect the IME doctor to run various tests depending on the type of injury that you have claimed. The independent medical exam doctor may require you to bring the results of any tests or treatment that you have already undergone due to your car accident injury. The independent medical exam doctor will likely have a conversation with you, ask you about your pain, and ask you how your treatment is coming along.
We also want you to know that the independent medical exam doctor and their staff may be watching you at all times to make sure that you are not exaggerating your injury. This could include watching you while you were in the waiting room or even as you get out of your vehicle in the parking lot.
Is the Independent Medical Exam Doctor on the Insurance Carrier’s Side?
The independent medical exam will be conducted by a fully licensed doctor. However, the caveat to that is that it will be the insurance carrier who hires and pays this doctor. We do not want to say that all independent medical exam doctors are on the side of the insurance carrier, but the reality is that the doctor will likely not get much business from the insurance carrier if they continually rule in favor of the injury victim. That alone should make any injury victim wary of the entire process.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have been injured by the careless with negligent actions of another driver, we strongly recommend seeking assistance from an Ontario car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can get involved and handle all communication with other parties, and they will push back strongly against any request for an independent medical exam. This exam may not be required, and it may only be an effort by the insurance carrier to limit the amount of money they payout. Contact an attorney for assistance with your case soon after the crash occurs so you have an advocate by your side.