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What should I know about an independent medical exam?

Experienced Attorney

Attorneys have found that a large number of people are asked to attend an independent medical exam. A car accident lawyer believes there is nothing independent about these exams. In fact, the insurance company is trying to defeat what you are claiming by hiring a doctor to perform their own review of your injuries. Chances are the same doctor has been used in many other cases before yours. It’s disheartening to learn about doctors who do this, but what’s important to understand is that a good car accident lawyer can help you to get through this.

Independent Medical Exam Tips from an Experienced Law Firm

Take a Friend With You

It is important you bring a friend or family member to your independent medical exam. This person can act as a witness who will be able to support your own version of events on what happens from the moment you check in for your appointment.

Make Notes

As soon as you arrive, write down the time. Also take notes about how long you waited, the time you spent with the doctor, and what time you left. It is not uncommon for IME doctors to ask you to wait 30 minutes to two hours before seeing you. Later on, the doctor may claim, even testify, they spent hours with you to ensure you were given proper attention. Your notes can counter this claim.

Be Weary of any Paperwork You Are Asked to Complete

When you arrive at the IME doctor’s office, you may be asked to fill out paperwork which may ask a number of questions about the accident or your previous medical history. A car accident lawyer might advise against filling this paperwork out. This is because it is likely the doctor already has your medical records, which were provided by the insurance company.  Forms like these may be used as an attempt in getting you to write something that you previously forgotten or did not include.

Do Your Best…

If the IME doctor asks you to perform a test or task, do your best and make sure you are honest with your effort and your words. Tests that attempt to prove you’re exaggerating or putting on a show may be used. This is why it’s important to relax and be honest.

Ask a Lawyer to Videotape the IME

If you have a car accident lawyer, and you should, ask him or her about getting permission to videotape the IME. This prevents the IME doctor from making claims that you were dishonest, late for your arrival, rude, and so forth. Unfortunately, jurors may give credence to IME doctors because they are a doctor, without realizing they are getting paid by the insurance company to side with them.

Finally, even if you’re feeling upset about having to go to an IME, make an effort to be courteous to the doctor. If you’re unreasonable, rude, and disagree with what the doctor is asking of you, it may be worsening your claim.

Remember, if you have been injured in a car accident and have not already retained a lawyer, you may have the right to do so. Please call a law firm for a free case review from an experienced car accident lawyer Bristol, TN relies on.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into personal injury claims and independent medical exams after a car accident.

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