Independent Medical Examination
Accidents of serious nature entail high monetary transactions, either on the part of the person involved or on the insurance firm. It is but natural for people making hefty payments toward physical injuries caused by accidents to check the veracity of the injuries prior to disbursing money. Also, responsible parties would like to ensure whether the severity of the injuries aligns with the claims made. This necessitates a verification of details by another physician apart from the claimant’s physician. Such process of verifying the details in cases related to personal injury is called ‘Independent Medical Examination’ (IME).
Why is IME Significant?
In the event of an accident, the victim normally gets examined by the physician of his or her choice immediately. Payer’s concern is about the possibility of a victim’s personal physician being a little biased toward his patient while assessing the injuries and their severity. Hence, the person sued for compensation toward victim’s injury is likely to arrange a different physician for examining the victim. Such independent physician will perform examination to ensure certain factors, namely, confirming that the victim in fact has sustained injuries, affirming the seriousness of injuries to be as bad as the victim claims, and warrant that the injuries have not been caused by any different reasons. Ruling out injuries arising out of pre-existing causes is also made possible by an IME.
Limitations of IME
At times, injured parties may not wish to undergo an independent medical examination. In such eventualities, injured party may be forced to take up an IME; there are statutory laws in connection with rights of insurance companies for compelling an IME when victims make questionable claims. This compelled examination becomes possible only when the insurance policy contains a class requiring submission to examination by the party insured. Even so, the insured party can refuse to submit to examination if and when the process of exam leads to undue burden on the person insured, like having to travel unduly long distances, etc.
There are certain countries where judges have the power to order an IME under specific circumstances. For instance, when there is a dispute over a person’s mental or physical injuries. Nevertheless, when in reality a person has suffered physical injuries but sues only for damages caused to his vehicle, an IME need not be ordered. Similarly, an IME will not be ordered in the event of a claimant suing after complete healing of an injury.
What Happens when an IME is ordered?
In the event of an IME being ordered, injured party may even need to undergo more than one examination. However, it is the responsibility of the person compelling for exam to meet payment for examination. It sometimes happens that the physician chosen by the party who compels exam may not be acceptable by the victim; the court has the right to decide about the physician in such cases. The victim’s attorney will be allowed to accompany the injured during exam.
Facts About IME
Injuries caused by accidents and subsequent need to arrange for recovery of money from others involves taking up an IME. There is no need to have any qualms about IME; it is similar to normal examination by any physician. However, people have the choice to engage an attorney prior to submitting to examination for better protecting their rights.