Have you been asked to participate in an IME?
After suffering serious injuries in an accident, you need time to focus on your recovery and learn to live with any permanent damage. The last thing you need is someone questioning the severity, nature and truth of your injuries. However, when you file a personal injury claim, the other side may ask these questions.
In some cases, you may be asked to submit to an independent medical examination, or IME. A medical professional other than your doctor performs the examination and reports to the insurance adjusters and attorneys for the person or persons you claim caused your injuries.
Why an IME would be requested
No one likes to pay more for something than they absolutely have to, especially insurance companies. Therefore, an IME may be requested for the following reasons:
- To eliminate biases of your doctor
- To verify you suffered injuries
- To verify the severity of your injuries
- To make sure the injuries resulted from the accident
Like other Pennsylvania residents injured by the actions of another person, you may feel offended by the request for an IME, but it could serve to bolster your claim.
When is the insurance company allowed to order an IME?
Insurance companies and courts can order IMEs under the following circumstances:
- In compliance with an insurance policy
- If the validity of a claim is in question
If submitting to an IME would cause you undue burden, the court may deny the request.
If you submit to an IME
Once you submit to an IME, the following details need attention:
- Requesting party usually pays for the IME
- Requesting party may choose the physician
- The court may choose the physician if in dispute
After these details are settled, your attorney may attend the IME with you.
Protect your rights
In order to protect your rights throughout your personal injury claim, especially if an insurance company or the other side requests an IME, an attorney may prove invaluable. Not only will he or she investigate your claim and assess your damages, but he or she could also file your claim. You may also need help dealing with the requirements of your insurance company outside of an IME.
You should take the time you need to focus on your recovery. It would prove advantageous to have a legal advocate handling the paperwork, deadlines and negotiations on your behalf during an already difficult and stressful time in your life.