If you are scheduled to receive an Independent Medical Exam (IME), you already know how stressful the process can be. Companies who are responsible for paying disability compensation are entitled to select a physician to examine you.
Unfortunately, the physicians selected by these companies are not "independent medical examiners." The physicians selected by the insurance companies are often biased in favor of the insurance company so the conclusions, reports and testimony they offer can make receiving a settlement much more difficult.
However, by following some tips you can help protect yourself against these examiners who have a clear incentive to aid the insurance companies who are paying for their services.
Before going to your Independent Medical Exam, gather your medical history so you can give consistent answers to the IME's questions. Inconsistent answers give the examiner ammunition to use against you and bring into question your reliability. Speak with your attorney and your personal physician before your appointment and schedule an exam with your physician for the same day as your IME.
Remember, you may be under surveillance around the time of your IME so follow your doctor's orders completely. Not using crutches or doing activities you are not supposed to will give the insurance company reasons to doubt the severity of your injury claims.
When going to your IME, bring along someone who can take notes on what was done and ask questions for you. While in the office, take pictures of any obvious physical ailments such as bruises or swelling. Speak up if the IME is hurting you during the examination, but do not overreact or exaggerate symptoms. False of exaggerated symptoms are grounds for not believing your legitimate injury claims.
While being examined, do not forget that the examiner is NOT your doctor. Do not ask him questions about treatments or your injuries. Simply answer the questions he asks. Most questions require a yes or no response. Don't elaborate. Anything you say that can be interpreted as inconsistent can be used against you.
After your Independent Medical Exam you should request the credentials of your examiner from the insurance company. You should also request a copy of the IME's report. Finally, ask for a copy of the insurance company's in-house physician as well.
Going to an Independent Medical Exam can be a stressful experience. No one likes to be treated as though they are attempting to commit fraud against an insurance company. However, if you go to your IME well-prepared and answer all questions truthfully, you will give you and your attorney the best chance for receiving a positive settlement.
Do you still have unanswered questions regarding an independent medical exam in Alaska? Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Ben Crittenden for a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options and find out our estimate of the value of your case.