How To Handle Your Personal Injury Medical Exam

Posted on: 28 March 2019

When an accident upsets your life, it can have far-reaching consequences. You might be surprised at the way even minor injuries affect you, for example. In some cases, you might be asked to appear at a special type of medical exam during your quest to obtain financial compensation. Read on to find out more about dealing with the independent medical exam (IME).

What is the purpose of the IME?

You might not realize it yet, but your entire personal injury case hinges on your injuries and medical expenses. Without an injury, you have no personal injury case at all. The seriousness of your injuries and the dollar amount of your treatment is not just another expense – it forms the beginning of the calculations for your pain and suffering. With these facts in mind, the other side might seek to know more about your medical condition as a result of the accident. An IME allows the other side to find out:

1. The extent of your injuries.

2. The treatment and how it has helped (or not helped) you.

3. The effects of any preexisting condition you might have from another accident or a medical condition.

4. The potential for future medical needs and for a permanent injury.

Must You Agree to an IME?

In many cases, you will end up undergoing an IME. You must keep in mind however, that the word "independent" in this context might not be entirely accurate. The doctor who performs the IME is hired by the insurance company for the other driver so their loyalty might be more towards the other driver than to you. You should know that you do have the right to hire your own doctor to perform an IME. However, if you do not agree to undergo the IME at the defense's request, the judge may order you to do so when the case comes to trial.

The IME and What to Expect

If your attorney has advised you to comply with the IME request, you might want to prepare yourself. This is an exam that focuses entirely on your accident injuries. You can expect the doctor to question you about how the injury occurred, what treatments and diagnostics exams you have already had, and what your current status is with your injury. Be careful when answering questions and be brief and factual with your answers. Don't ramble or guess at answers. Use any notes or records you have to support your memories and make sure you let the doctor know how much discomfort the injury is still causing you.

To find out more about what to expect for your IME, speak to your auto accident attorney.