If you have been injured by a negligent or reckless driver and are pursuing monetary compensation, such as by hiring a auto accident attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf, the insurance company will likely require that you take an ‘independent medical examination, or IME. While allegedly ‘independent’, IMEs are conducted by doctors who regularly work for the insurance company and want to keep their lucrative contracts. This often means that their reports to the insurance company can minimize the extent of your injuries. There several things an aggressive personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can do and say during negotiations with the adjuster to counter the bad report.
The request for an independent medical examination by the insurance company often makes an individual nervous, but your injury attorney will explain to you in detail what the exam entails and what you can expect. First, know that the doctor is not on your side — it is essentially the his job to undermine your injuries so that the opposing party does not have to pay as much in damages.
During an Independent Medical Exam, you have the right to:
- Say no to an invasive test or blood draw
- Bring a friend for moral support
- Refuse an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI
- Be given a gown to wear during the exam
- Not volunteer extra information
- Be treated respectfully
- Not sign anything the doctor gives you
- Ask for a copy of the report
- Take a break to call your personal injury attorney at any point during the exam
This list is non-exhaustive. Discuss your rights and comfort level with your attorney before heading into the exam.
Your responsibilities during the exam include:
- Answering only questions asked
- Respecting the attorney client privilege and not sharing what you have discussed with your lawyer with the doctor
- Not discussing liability, or who was at fault and how much
For more information on the role you play in an IME, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
Know that in many instances, the insurance company is not on your side — even if it is your own insurance provider! To ensure that you receive the financial damages you deserve and that your legal rights are protected, hire a successful lawyer in Los Angeles to fight on your behalf.
Contact the skilled trial lawyers at BIKLAW today to discuss your potential auto accident or personal injury case.