Personal injury lawyers can now outsource IME exam monitoring to protect clients and the inexpensive cost becomes a case expense. The normally upfront cost can even be deferred until settlement.
Independent Medical Exams for no-fault or health insurance companies and defense medical exams for liability insurance companies are both usually referred to as an IME but every personal injury lawyer knows they are not independent.
While the doctors who perform the exams technically work for a company that is independent of the insurance company, there is substantial financial pressure on the hiring company which is passed on to the doctor performing the exam to please the insurance company by denying further treatment at an IME or to deny causation of the injury or the existence of the injury at a defense medical exam.
Beware of friendly IME doctors! For some reason, I’ve noticed that less friendly, grouchy IME physicians typically allow further treatment or provide relatively positive medical reports for defense exams. However, IME doctors who are friendly, smiling and very pleasant, generally never allow further treatment and write medical reports that read like they were examining someone else, like an 18-year-old athlete who never had an accident.
At our New York law firm, we bring an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist to the defense medical exam. Using a non-physician monitor at IME no-fault exams is helpful to keep the insurance company doctor honest thereby allowing further treatment. More importantly, clients should never be allowed to appear at a physical exam alone so they aren’t subject to an unauthorized deposition.
I have attended IME medical exams with a client and was glad I attended when the insurance company doctor tried to ask my client questions about how the accident happened. At one of those exams, an orthopedic surgeon was so insistent about asking my client questions about the traffic light that he refused to proceed with the exam unless I allowed my client to answer the questions. When I let him know that he could cancel the physical if he wanted to, he called the IME company who advised him that he was not allowed to ask those questions.
Some personal injury law firms allow clients to go to IME physicals alone which is a really bad idea. Most personal injury law firms will send someone, whether it be a lawyer, paralegal or other employee to accompany the client at the IME. Sending one of your employees is costly and much less effective than sending a trained representative from IME Guards. IME Guards representatives are well-trained and extremely effective at their job. Additionally, you’ll get a written report of what happened at the physical.
For Defense Medical Exams IME Guards can send either a non-physician representative or a licensed physician.
Find out more or schedule IME Guards to appear at your next IME or DME (defense medical exam)