Sometimes, if you have been injured in a car accident, you will be required to get an independent medical examination (IME) as part of the insurance claim process.
While you have a right to be treated by a qualified medical professional of your choosing, you may need to be examined by a physician, or other medical professional, who does not know you. There can be some pitfalls in having an IME. These can make it more difficult to get the fair compensation you deserve.
The Purpose of an IME
IME’s may be conducted before a lawsuit is filed, as part of the insurance claim process, or after a lawsuit has been filed. Insurance companies have an interest in making sure they do not pay out more for a claim than is proper. Under both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, defendants in personal injury cases have a right to request that the plaintiff who is seeking compensation for his or her injuries submit to an IME.
One worry is that perhaps the treating physician has become biased towards the plaintiff and may be recommending treatment that is not medically necessary. For an IME, a neutral physician or other medical professional will conduct an exam and give a second opinion about the injuries and the type of treatment needed.
The Risks of an IME
Several professionals who conduct IME’s work hard to carefully examine patients and are truly neutral. Because medical science is complicated, even experts may disagree on the scope of an injury and the best treatment.
Many professionals make substantial amounts of money conducting IME’s for insurance companies. They may testify in hundreds of cases and almost always take the position most favorable to the insurance company. Additionally, there may be some question as to whether these experts are truly neutral.
If you are required to submit to an IME, it is possible that the report may disagree with your doctor. When this happens, the case may turn into a battle. Lawyers, adjustors, and maybe even juries and judges are left to decide who is right.
Making an insurance claim when you have had serious injuries is complicated. Therefore you should consult with a seasoned DuPage County personal injury lawyer right away to discuss your rights and possible claims. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC today to schedule your free consultation at 630-932-9100.
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