Why do I need an independent medical examination for a personal injury case?

Posted December 16th, 2014 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

independent-medical-examination-personal-injuryIf you have suffered personal injury and are seeking to recover damages, the insurance company needs a way to quantify the extent of your injuries.  They do this via a procedure called the independent medical examination, also known as the IME.  Often, the IME is one of the most important components of a personal injury case.

When does the independent medical examination occur and when is asked for?  Check out the different scenarios below:

  • During Medical Treatment for Injuries Sustained in a Car AccidentWhether you receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under your own insurance policy or someone else’s, the insurance company will request that you see a physician of their choice. First, they may want an expert opinion concerning the likelihood that your injury is related to the accident.  They will also seek to establish that your treatment is medically necessary. Lastly, the insurance company may wish to determine the medical necessity of further treatment, diagnostic testing, or the use of medical equipment.
  • After You Have Completed Medical Treatment – After you have completed medical treatment, the insurance company for the defendants will request that you submit to an independent medical examination. This is also true in workers’ compensation claims where the employer is known as the respondent.  These doctors are requested to document the extent of your injuries and determine how they will affect your life going forward.

Legal counsel is extremely important during this process.  The doctors retained by the insurance companies are paid by them.  Their opinions are often conservative and may even dispute the causal relationship or the extent of injuries.  Our office provides our clients with important documentation concerning independent medical examinations.  We even ask that you document your experience at the physician’s office.

How are Independent Medical Examinations Combatted?

In New Jersey, when a lawsuit is filed regarding personal injury arising from a car accident, it is necessary to file a physician’s certification.  The law requires that a licensed treating physician or a board-certified licensed physician to whom the plaintiff was referred by the treating physician author this document.  It must be submitted within 60 days following the date of the answer to the complaint by the defendant, [N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8(a)

In all cases, our experienced personal injury lawyer contacts the treating physician and requests a narrative report.  This doctor is the one most familiar with you and your injuries.  We also obtain all related records for review.

If you have been injured in any type of accident, you should seek legal counsel.  The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has decades of experience in personal injury cases.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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