If you’ve been injured and you’re receiving care as part of a personal injury claim, you might think that your doctor’s word is enough. After all, they’re the ones providing your care and tracking your injury. However, for the insurance company, that won’t be enough. You may be asked to submit to an independent medical examination, which is a standard part of the personal injury claim process.
Learn more about how IMEs work and why they may work against you. To get more personalized advice regarding your personal injury claim, call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman at 866-565-4949.
What is an Independent Medical Examination?
An independent medical examination is an examination performed by a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing. The examination is done to determine the scope of your injury, what caused your injury, and how your injury affects your life.
During part of your IME, you’ll likely have to answer a series of questions put forth by the doctor. You may have to tell them how the injury happened, how it’s affected your ability to work, your pain levels, how your injury has changed your life at home, and other ways it has impacted your life.
The other part of the IME is the actual medical examination. During this, the doctor may perform a range of tests that look at the scope of the injury, test your mobility and limitations, and look for other issues caused by your injuries.
The information gathered from an IME is put together in a report and given to the other party’s insurance company.
How IMEs Can Benefit Insurance Companies
One important phrase in the last section shows exactly how IMEs benefit insurance companies: you go to a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing. See, insurance companies know that the doctor you’re seeing is likely operating with your best interests in mind.
Their goal is for you to make a full recovery and get the full scope of treatment you need. Those goals are directly contrary to the goals of the insurance company, which wants to spend as little as possible on your care to protect your bottom line.
Their solution is to request an IME. They know which doctors tend to favor patients and which doctors will fall in line with the insurance companies. By choosing a doctor that has historically come to conclusions that benefit them, they can get a medical report that supports their claims.
Even if this is contrary to what your doctor says, it’s easy for them to spin it. They may say that your doctor is padding their bottom line because they know the insurance company is paying or call into question your doctor’s credentials.
IMEs Aren’t as Unbiased as You Think
People are often surprised to find out just how biased doctors can be when doing something like an independent medical examination. However, everyone has biases—IMEs simply exploit those biases. Independent medical examinations are generally paid for by the insurance company requesting them.
If the doctor knows who is paying them, their findings are likely to be in line with what the paying party is looking for. This is especially true for doctors who make much of their income from IMEs. Once they have a solid reputation for serving the needs of insurance companies, IMEs can suddenly become a healthy revenue stream for them. This puts your needs last and puts the needs of the insurance company at the forefront.
Protecting Your Claim
Submitting to an IME doesn’t mean that your claim is sunk. There is still a lot you can do to preserve the integrity of your personal injury claim. Working with an attorney is the best way to get the evidence you need for a strong case that holds the negligent party accountable.
Choose Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman for Your Injury Claim
Having a reliable, experienced attorney working for you makes a big difference when you’re seeking compensation. Find out how Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman can help you as you fight for justice. Schedule your free case evaluation right now by sending us a quick message or calling us at 866-565-4949. Let’s figure out your next steps.