Independent medical examinations are used in all types of personal injury cases.
These exams assess your medical condition and injuries for your personal injury claim.
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What Is an Independent Medical Examination in a Miami Personal Injury Case?
An independent medical examination (IME) is conducted by a physician other than the doctors treating you. You do not get to choose the physician who performs the IME. In many cases, the insurance company for the party who caused your injury chooses the IME doctor.
The physician may conduct a physical examination and diagnostic tests during an independent medical examination. The purpose of the IME is to produce an objective report detailing your injuries and medical condition. The report includes opinions regarding your prognosis and impairment ratings, if you sustained permanent disabilities.
Unfortunately, the defense often uses the independent medical examination in a personal injury lawsuit to discredit your evidence of injuries. The defense uses the IME to “prove” that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
However, the defense’s desire to use the IME to hurt your personal injury case could result in helping your case. A skilled injury attorney understands how to discredit the reports of independent medical examinations by using medical specialists and expert witnesses to refute the findings contained in the IME.
What Are Your Rights During an Independent Medical Examination in Miami?
In most cases, you are not required to undergo an independent medical examination until after you file a personal injury lawsuit. The insurance company for the at-fault party is responsible for paying the cost of the IME if it requests one. Therefore, companies usually reserve IMEs for lawsuits, cases involving multiple injuries or conditions, and claims involving permanent impairments and high damages.
The court could dismiss your case if you refuse to attend the IME. However, that does not mean you do not have rights during the independent medical examination.
Your rights during an IME in a Miami personal injury case include the following:
- You are not required to pay any costs related to the examination.
- You cannot be forced to drive a long distance from your residence to attend the IME.
- Your personal injury attorney can attend the examination with you.
- You cannot be forced to take another IME if the defendant does not like the examination results.
- You can correct any factual mistakes in the report by the independent medical examiner.
- You have the right to review correspondence between the defense or insurance company and the IME physician about your injuries.
- You have the right to receive a full copy of the independent medical examination report.
You can dispute any portion of the IME report. Your personal injury lawyer might recommend undergoing an examination by a medical specialist they choose to gather additional evidence to refute the claims in the IME report.
An Important Thing to Remember About an IME in Florida
Typically, your conversations with your physicians are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality. However, confidentiality does not protect the statements you make during an independent medical examination. Therefore, the independent medical examiner can include anything you say in the final IME report.
During an IME, you should not exaggerate your symptoms or limitations. Doctors know when patients are exaggerating or lying about their conditions. This behavior could hurt your credibility at trial.
Instead, only answer questions that the physician asks. Be straightforward and honest in your responses. Your attorney will discuss additional things you need to know when they prepare you for the IME.
How Can You Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation for a Miami Personal Injury Claim?
The steps you take after a personal injury or accident can significantly affect the outcome of your case.
Therefore, always report injuries and accidents immediately. For example, report the injury to the property owner if you slip and fall. Likewise, when you are injured in a car crash, call 911 to report the accident to the police.
Seek medical treatment for your injuries promptly. Delays in medical care can hurt your personal injury case. The delays give the defense a reason to question whether the accident caused your injuries or whether your injuries are as severe as you claim.
Gather evidence and document your damages. Whenever possible, take pictures and make a video of the accident scene and your injuries. If anyone saw the accident, ask them for their name and contact information.
As soon as possible, seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney in Miami. An attorney explains your legal options and the steps you can take to recover money for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation with a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
You could be entitled to compensation for injuries if you’ve been injured in an accident. However, the insurance company might fight your claim.