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What is an Independent Medical Examination?

Some people are so lucky that they can go through their entire life without ever having to file a personal injury lawsuit or even report a personal injury claim. Sadly, for countless others, the personal injury claims process is quite familiar. If you decide to file a personal injury claim after being injured in some type of accident, you are likely embroiled in a dispute with the opposing side over liability, fault, or the amount of damages you may be entitled to. If you are unable to come to an agreement, your next steps are likely going to be to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once you file your lawsuit, you may be looking into how to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of personal injury litigation. One of the unfamiliar steps that may come up in your personal injury case is the independent medical examination or (IME). An IME is a medical assessment that is utilized to clarify any disputes or concerns that there may be about your medical condition and overall health as it pertains to the injury sustained. The medical reports that are generated after an IME can greatly affect the outcome of your personal injury case and how much compensation you will ultimately receive so it is vital that you become familiar with the ins and outs of independent medical examinations.

Common Issues with Independent Medical Examinations

Oftentimes, an insurance company requests an IME because they have taken issue with the decisions your treating physician made with respect to your medical care. The purpose behind an IME is to deter abuse in the personal injury claims process by allowing a defendant to independently examine an injured plaintiff’s medical condition and confirm that there is evidence  of injury and/or a causal relationship between the harm and the injury sustained by the claimant. In some cases, if your doctor is recommending surgery or ongoing therapy, that will trigger a request for an IME as the opposing party wants to get unbiased confirmation that the proposed treatment is really necessary. In other cases where you are claiming to have sustained permanent injuries, the opposing party may be looking to refute those claims by having an independent physician examine your injury and overall condition. In some cases, the judge or hearing officer assigned to your case may also order an IME to resolve a disputed issue related to your case. There are a number of things you should be aware of before and after being examined by a physician as part of an independent medical examination. To begin, IME’s are not always necessary in civil litigation. However, whenever you file a lawsuit where your physical or mental condition is at issue, you are likely going to be subject to a medical examination of some sort if the opposing side requests one. Typically, a personal injury victim places their mental or physical condition at issue when filing a personal injury lawsuit. Sadly, an “independent” physician might have a financial motive to belittle the legitimacy of your injury to get on the opposing party’s good side and increase the potential that they may get more work in the future. A physician may do this by downplaying the severity of your condition or claiming that it is likely unrelated to the accident at issue or caused by a prior accident or injury. In other instances, a physician may claim that you are fabricating the injury or faking an illness. As it pertains to workers’ compensation claims, at times the doctor who conducts the IME may erroneously clear an employee to get back on the job, eliminating their possibility of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.

Speak with a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today!

After any type of accident or fall, you should consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to learn what your rights and obligations are under the law. Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your injury claim, the team at Suarez & Montero has the experience necessary to ask the right questions and take the necessary actions to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve! Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries!

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.