In some instances, after receiving a claim for injuries suffered in a car accident, insurance companies will ask for a medical examination. The independent medical examination, or IME, is not requested for every case, but depending on several factors, it could be necessary. If you were injured in a car accident and the insurance company is requiring an IME before paying your claim, here is what you need to know.
Why Is an IME Necessary?
The IME is usually requested in cases that will result in a large settlement. For instance, if you suffered significant injuries that will require future treatment, the insurance company will request the IME to verify that you were injured and to determine the extent of the injuries.
The insurance company will also request the IME to determine if the injuries are solely from the car accident. If you had a pre-existing condition and are claiming that the accident aggravated it, the IME will be used to help determine to what extent.
Can You Refuse the IME?
Whether you can refuse the IME depends on how far your claim has progressed and your current condition. If you have filed a lawsuit because you were unable to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, there is a possibility that the court might order you to undergo the IME. However, if your condition has been effectively treated and you have fully recovered, the IME might not be required.
Your attorney might advise you to refuse to take the IME if it has not been ordered by the court. If he or she feels that the IME would not necessarily be unbiased or that it would have a negative impact on your case, refusing it could potentially be beneficial to you.
What Should You Remember During the IME?
If you are planning to attend the IME, talk to your attorney. He or she will want to investigate the relationship of the insurance company to the doctor conducting the examination. Your attorney will need to know if the doctor has a history of siding with the insurance company. If so, your attorney could ask the court to allow the choice of a different doctor.
During the examination, it is important that you are honest about your injuries. You also need to be detailed about how the injuries have impacted your daily life. For instance, if back pain has made it impossible to work, explain how.
Talk to your attorney about other ways you can prepare for the IME. You can also find out more by going here.