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How an Independent Medical Examination (IME) may impact your personal injury case

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | Personal Injury

Car accidents are unpredictable, and the injuries that often come along with them are disruptive. You’re likely eager to jumpstart the rehabilitative process so that you can get back to your everyday life following a crash. Making a car accident victim whole again isn’t always at the top of an insurance company’s agenda. Saving money is, though. An insurer may have you undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) before making any auto accidents claim payments.  

Why insurance companies request IMEs

An alleged negligent motorist’s insurer will generally request you to undergo an IME to determine the severity of your injuries. The reason that the insurer selects a doctor that you’ve never personally been treated by is to make sure that they reach an unbiased diagnosis of your condition and whether it indeed stemmed from the accident in question.

How an IME can negatively impact your personal injury case

State law protects an insurer’s right to request an IME, and although those providers are supposed to be unbiased, they often aren’t. Many are on the payroll of insurance companies and thus feel pressure to testify in their favor. Insurance companies tend to hire doctors more willing to testify on their behalf than take the steps necessary to reach an appropriate diagnosis. 

Although most jurisdictions’ laws allow an insurer only to request a single IME, an insurance company may be able to require that you attend additional ones if they can give a good reason for doing so.

What to do if an insurer calls you in for an IME

You should gather together any medical records describing your injuries’ onset and arrive punctually for your IME appointment. You should keep any answers you provide as brief as possible. You may want to consult with a personal injury- car accidents attorney before your IME to learn more about the implications of doing or saying certain things in your Richmond case. You have rights under Virginia law. When you’ve been victimized by a driver’s negligent mistake, find out what it takes to protect your interests.