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Everything You Need To Know About Independent Medical Examinations

After a crash, you may be asked to see an independent medical examiner (IME). An IME is a doctor that is approved by the insurance company that will be paying the claim. The doctor will examine you to understand the extent of your injuries. If you have recently filed an injury claim and an IME has been requested, here is everything you need to know.

Why Do Insurance Companies Request An IME?

Insurance companies use IME as a way to fight fraudulent claims on serious injuries before settling large claims. The belief is that if a person is treated by their own doctor, that doctor may be biased to the victim. IMEs are also requested when an injury victim has made a claim without medical documentation. IMEs are typically only requested when it comes to serious injuries with large sums of damages.

The Difference Between An IME And A CME

An IME is different from a compulsory medical exam (CME). An IME is a medical exam that the insurance company pays for to ensure that the victim’s injuries are properly diagnosed and documented. An IME may be requested by your insurance or the defendant’s insurance. A CME is often used to dispute the claims of an injury victim and more frequently requested by the defendant’s insurance company. CMEs are also requested in cases of suspected fraud. However, many people will argue there is no difference between an IME and a CME in the state of Florida because of the current laws.

Florida Law And IME

In the state of Florida, the insurance carrier has a legal right to an IME. A refusal may be seen as a breach of contract and can release the insurance company from liability. However, in order to qualify as a breach, the insurance company has to prove the victim “unreasonable refused” an IME. Also according to Florida law, in order to pursue an IME, the insurance carrier must show that the mental or physical condition of the injury victim is material to a claim for first-party medical benefits.

What To Expect At An IME

First of all, if you are being treated by more than one specialist, you should expect to have more than one IME. So depending on the severity of your injuries, expect to spend a lot of time at doctor’s offices. Next, the IME will basically repeat the same diagnostic procedures your physician has already done and then they will review any treatments including physical therapy or medications you have been prescribed. You will have to review all your symptoms and medical information with the IME physicians. Basically, an IME is like any other doctor’s visit.

What To Do If Your Insurance Company Requests An IME

Unfortunately, IMEs are not technically independent and though most are professionals following the same ethical codes of medical practice, they are there to represent the interests of the insurance company. Therefore, it is essential if your insurance company requests an IME you also have someone representing your best interests like a qualified personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will supervise the IME to make sure that your injuries are not being downplayed to the insurance companies. Remember an IME is a medical examination specifically for the purpose of litigation, it is not a second opinion. You need to have an attorney present.

If you’ve been injured and your insurance company or the defendant’s insurance company has requested an IME, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney before going. The attorneys at , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, & Walsh can help. We can come with you to your IME to document the process, emphasize the severity and symptoms of your injuries, and make sure the examination is truly independent. Don’t go to your IME alone, instead, contact us today!

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Everything You Need To Know About Independent Medical Examinations

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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