When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.
Upon filing a personal injury claim, the insurance company may contact you and request for an independent medical examination (IME). This is when a physician who has no prior doctor-patient relationship with you examines your medical condition. The insurance company may use the medical report obtained to try to negotiate a settlement with you.
What the Laws Surrounding IMEs Are
IMEs are conducted in order to examine the cause of the injury, along with the severity and extent when liability is an issue. Depending on the type of personal injury claim you are filing, the state may require the IMEs to be completed within a certain period of time. If you are sent a notice of request to get an IME, it is crucial that you speak to a personal injury attorney to ensure you follow the state laws. If you don't, you may be penalized for your negligence in court.
The laws and timelines surrounding the IMEs will vary by state. For example, the insurance company can request for an IME within 24 hours after the appointment of counsel. If an IME has been requested, you are expected to get the IME done within 3 business days.
How to Protect Yourself During the IME
It's impossible to guarantee that the doctor assigned to conduct the IME has your best interest at heart, especially when the insurance company hires him or her. As a result, it's important you take appropriate measures to protect yourself.
Most personal injury attorneys recommend bringing a family member or friend along. Having a family member or friend present may prevent the physician from intimidating you. In addition, the family member or friend can help you record everything that happens in the doctor's office and can also act as a witness should any discrepancies or disagreements arise. If a family member or friend agrees to come to the clinic with you, you should get them to record the following information:
If you don't have anyone to go with you, try to take these notes down yourself.
What to Do if You Disagree with the IME Report
Once the doctor has completed the IME, he or she is required to provide not only the insurance company, but also you with a copy. If you have not received a copy, you can refuse to speak with the insurance agent until you are sent one. You should look over the reports in detail to see whether any of your injuries have been downplayed. To counter a bad report, most personal injury attorneys recommend:
An IME may not necessarily downplay your injuries, and may actually report it for what it is. The insurance company will rely on the IME report to negotiate a settlement with you. Make sure you read through the IME to see whether you agree with it or not, and to speak with an experienced attorney if you plan on countering the IME report in court. Take a look at the site here for more info on finding an attorney.