If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you will likely have significant medical bills and may even have doctors recommend that you get surgery. However, the insurance company may not agree with your doctors and may want to get a second opinion. This is called an independent medical examination (IME).
What Is The Point of An Independent Medical Examination?
An independent medical examination is in essence a second opinion by a medical professional who is supposed to be “independent.” To understand why an insurance company may want to have you undergo an independent medical exam, let’s consider the following basic example.
You are involved in a car accident, suffer a herniated disc in your back, undergo months of treatment, and then receive a surgical recommendation from your treating doctor. The insurance company may disagree with a variety of issues. They may feel that your treatment was unnecessary, that the herniated disc was not caused by the accident, or that surgery is not the proper course of treatment, just to name a few. To prove this, they will want to have you seen by an independent medical professional.
What Can I Do About The Opinion of the IME?
You will have to show that the treatment you got was reasonable and necessary, that the injuries you suffered were related to the accident, and that your doctor’s opinion on surgery is correct. This can generally be accomplished through the testimony of your treating physician. Keep in mind that an independent medical examiner (1) is hired by the insurance company and (2) will likely only see you one time. Your treating physician, on the other hand, will have seen you continuously since the accident and will have a much better idea about your particular condition and the proper course of treatment for you.