Independent Medical Examination

An Independent Medical Examination is usually used when looking for a second opinion in a particular injury or illness, most of the time suffered in a workplace. After suffering an injury, the most practical course of action is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In this case, a regular General Practitioner will provide all the necessary tests. One of the primary jobs of a General Practitioner is to provide short term medical assistance and treatments. Additionally, General Practitioners are can also determine whether you are fit to return to work or not.

There are cases when an injury merits an insurance claim. This usually occurs when a person suffers from serious accidents or injury. These claims are generally huge sums of money. Because of this, some insurance companies make sure that all the claims are valid to prevent and root out fraudulent claims. This is where an independent test usually takes place.

Independent Medical Examination

Is Independent Medical Examination Necessary?

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A person, immediately following an injury, needs to be examined and treated by a doctor of his or her preference. These doctors usually gravitate towards the well-being of their patients, and in turn, might be biased when it comes to assessing the extent of a person’s injury. In this case, an insurance company is also allowed to determine a person’s injury with the aid of a medical professional of their choosing.

A third-party physician can be hired to perform the necessary tests. The physician’s main task is to assess the injuries sustained by the person and make a report that will affirm whether the injuries are as severe as what the victim claims to be. Additionally, the physician will also check that the injuries can be attributed to the claim and not from a different cause.

Despite having the word “independent” on their label, Independent Medical Examiners are not exactly independent. Most of these experts work directly for an insurance company or in some cases hired by the company. It is important to note that these specialists work for insurance companies; thus, there will be a certain level of bias. As such, when undergoing an independent medical exam, make sure to understand the findings fully. In case you cannot do so, it would be very wise to ask someone who knows how to.

It has happened in some cases that a doctor will try to undermine or underreport the extent of a person’s injury. They usually practice this to delegitimize an injury claim of a person.

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Who can perform Independent Medical Examinations?

Not all doctor and medical practitioners can provide an Independent Medical Examination. Most of the time, insurance companies have their division that performs these kinds of examination. In some cases, an insurance company can hire the services of a physician to achieve the said examination.

An insurance company can also create a panel of independent medical experts that can accurately assess a person’s claim. Among the most popular specialists that are hired as Independent Medical Examiner are orthopedic doctors, psychiatrists, and cardiologists.

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When can an Independent Medical Examination be ordered?

There are some cases when an injured person does not want to submit himself or herself to an independent test. Nevertheless, the insurance company can compel them to do so as part of the process of their insurance claim. Some states have laws that allow an insurance company to compel a claimant to submit to an independent test. This is used to ensure the integrity of a person’s claim. However, this order can only be carried out as long as these terms are included in the signed contract with the insurance company. If such language is not included in the words of the contract, a person can ignore the order.

Tips In Taking Independent Medical Examinations

While not necessarily a regular occurrence, some insurance companies try to have some workarounds to counter the claim of an injured person. So it is considered a best practice to ask the opinions of some experts before compelling yourself to an independent medical examination.

Talk to a lawyer. Before submitting yourself to an independent medical examination, it would be wise to ask for assistance from a lawyer. This is sometimes necessary, especially if you are trying to recover huge amounts of money from an insurance claim following an injury or an accident. A lawyer will also work to protect your rights and your interests, which is why it is essential to ask assistance from them in cases like this.

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Prepare for your examination. Preparing yourself before an Independent Medical Examination is of utmost importance, especially if you are seeking insurance money. First, make sure to arrive on time for your medical exam and bring all relevant medical records that will support your claim. It would be wise to have these documents notarized for added merit.

Having your lawyer present during the examination is also a good practice and is widely suggested. In the case that an attorney is not present during your exam, it is highly recommended to keep your answers concise and short. This means that limit your responses to “Yes” or “No” if possible.

Nevertheless, always be polite to the examiners. During the examination, make sure that you accurately describe the whole extent of your injuries or health complications. Lastly, and the most important, make sure to answer their questions truthfully.

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