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Do I have to go to the medical examination that my insurance company ordered after I filed an injury claim? I wasn't even at fault for the crash.

 

A:

In most cases, when an accident victim files an insurance injury claim after an accident, their own insurance company will ask them to undergo what is known as an independent medical evaluation (IME).

If you have been seriously injured in a crash and filed a claim, even if that accident wasn't your fault, your insurer may ask you to submit to an independent medical evaluation
. In most cases, you are obligated to fulfill this request. If this happens, a Philadelphia injury lawyer can talk to you about the ins and outs of the injury claims process and what you should do to prepare for the exam.

What is an independent medical evaluation?

An independent medical evaluation is a method used by insurance companies to determine the validity of an injury claim. The insurance company will ask you to attend a physical exam conducted by an "independent" physician with whom you have no prior contact.

This is done to alleviate the question of bias on the part of your doctor in the event he or she would possibly inflate or exaggerate the extent of your injuries. You should not be required to pay for the exam, nor for the costs associated with attending the appointment.

Do I have to agree to the IME?

Even if you do not want to submit to the IME, or you believe it is unfair, the insurance company may be able to implore you to do so if:

  • Your insurance policy included a provision covering IMEs.
  • Your insurer believes your injury claim is questionable.
  • The judge on your case orders the exam.

You may be able to fight having an IME if:

  • Your injuries or pain make it extremely difficult for you to submit to the exam.
  • Your lawsuit only includes property damage.
  • Your injuries had healed by the time you brought the claim.

Preparing for an independent medical evaluation

If you do agree to the independent medical evaluation, be extremely careful in what you say and do and how you act during the exam. The physician's findings could have a devastating impact on the success of your claim. That is why it's a good idea to meet with your Philadelphia injury lawyer ahead of time to discuss the procedure and what to expect during your exam.

Be clear and honest with the doctor at the evaluation, but keep the discussion to your accident injuries. As much as an independent medical evaluation can harm your case, it can also help if the IME physician's findings substantiate your claim.

Contacting a Philadelphia Injury Lawyer

A Philadelphia injury lawyer at White & Williams LLP can help you to prepare for your IME to ensure that you do not inadvertently damage your claim. Contact us today - 1-877-944-8396.


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