If you file a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim,
the other side is likely to ask for a medical examination with a doctor
of their choosing, which is often called an independent medical exam.
They use these to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. They
will examine causal relationship and look at whether the course of treatment
and cost were reasonable. The big problem with these exams is that they
are not truly independent. Do not get railroaded into an examination without
an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney on your side.
Here is what you need to know about independent medical examinations, or IMEs:
Who Chooses the IME Doctor?
An IME is intended to be an objective assessment of your current medical
condition, but the degree of objectiveness will depend on the doctor chosen.
The other side chooses and pays the doctor for the evaluation, which is
why you will also hear an IME called a defense medical exam. It should
come as no surprise then than the doctor is likely going to be fairly
biased, as he or she is on the defense’s payroll. If the doctor
sides with the plaintiff, it is not likely the defendant would use that
doctoragain, so there is incentive for the doctor to knock down your claim
or claim some treatment was unnecessary.
Are You Required to Go to a Defense Medical Exam?
Unfortunately, if you do not attend, the insurance company can seek a court
order that compels you to show up. The other concern is the location of
the exam. If you reside in Charles County and the doctor is all the way
north in Baltimore, guess who will be required to attend the exam in Baltimore.
If they set it for a time that is inconvenient for you, your attorney
can help get it rescheduled to a more convenient time.
Preparing for an IME
Your attorney will help you prepare for the examination, but you should
take the time to jot down some notes on what you plan to say. The exam
is quick, so you need to be able to accurately articulate your condition
in just a couple minutes. While you should tell them about every pain
and physical limitations, do not exaggerate. The doctor will see right
through this and make a note of it in the report, which will not help
Be sure to bring a copy of your films, like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
Since most are on CDs, it is easy to bring a digital copy with you. Remember
not to overshare. You should state the facts and be honest about your
condition, but do not give detail that is not necessary. It is not going
to sway the doctor’s opinion, either.
Hiring a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney
Maryland personal injury attorney on your side is imperative when you are dealing with defense medical examinations.
Your attorney is likely already familiar with the doctor the other side
is using and can predict what the report might say. He or she can negotiate
conditions for the exam to lessen the potential for bias. If you have
been in an accident or are filing a workers’ compensation claim,
contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro to schedule a consultation.