Significant amounts of time and resources are required to treat a serious injury. When that injury occurs because of another’s negligence, it’s often the case that the at-fault party’s insurance company pays for medical bills and the negative impacts associated with an accident.
Before doing this, a defendant will commonly insist on an Independent Medical Exam (“IME”). This is essentially a second opinion by a medical professional who will write a report on the extent of your injury and the appropriateness of the treatment you received.
Here are five tips that will help ensure you’re IME is a success and that you receive all of the compensation you deserve following an accident:
- Be 100% honest.
Your credibility is one of the most important factors in successfully resolving a claim for personal injuries. If that credibility is lost, the extent of your pain and the negative things you claim have been caused by the accident can all be called into question.
It is essential to be 100% honest during the IME. For example, you should accurately describe your pain level, prior medical history, and the effectiveness of your treatment. Not doing so could have severe consequences down the road; however, doing so can improve your credibility and benefit your claim.
- Be familiar with your medical history.
Even though your medical records will have been reviewed by the IME doctor, the injuries you sustained and steps you’ve taken to improve them will certainly be discussed. Familiarizing yourself with treatment history will facilitate a more productive conversation. It will also help to ensure your responses to the IME doctor are consistent with deposition and discovery responses. Inconsistencies can negatively impact your credibility.
- Be respectful.
The IME doctor will note your demeanor and appearance in their report. For example, the report will reflect whether you acted respectfully during the exam and whether your appearance is kept. Because you want the IME report to be as favorable as possible, it is important to dress appropriately and treat the IME doctor and their staff as you would want to be treated.
- Arrive early.
You will likely need to fill out a number of different documents when you arrive to the IME. Arriving 30 minutes early will allow you to take care of this without delaying the progress of the exam.
- Bring a friend or family member.
A friend or family member will be able to take notes on the length of the exam, which questions were asked, and what tests were performed. This person can serve as a valuable witness if disputes arise over the fairness, thoroughness, or accuracy of the exam.