What Is an Independent Medical Examination?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2020 | Buffalo Law Blog, Firm News, Personal Injury

What Is an Independent Medical Examination?

Sometimes, during the litigation process, people are asked to go for a physical exam referred to as independent medical examination. People will often wonder, “What is an independent medical examination? What does that term mean?”

I find that term to be a misnomer because it’s basically an insurance examination or a defendant examination. There’s nothing independent about the people who perform these examinations. They know where their bread is being buttered, and they often approach these exams with a viewpoint that slants their findings toward what the insurance carriers would like to see.

What Is an Independent Medical Examination? | Mandatory Exam

These “medical exams” require our clients to go and be examined by either a no-fault doctor, workers’ compensation doctor, or a doctor who was hired by an insurance company in a regular lawsuit. These doctors examine our clients, review their records, and then render opinions as to whether or not they were injured in the accident, whether or not there’s any degree of permanency involved, and other such things. There’s nothing independent about them. Unfortunately, our clients do have to attend these exams.

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What Is an Independent Medical Examination? | Monitoring the Exam

Fairly often, especially when these exams are lawsuit-related, we send a representative – either someone from our office or from an independent agency – along with our client to monitor their exam. They make sure our clients are not being asked to complete paperwork they shouldn’t be completing. They also ensure that, when we see the final report submitted by the doctor, it coincides with what they actually observed during the exam. For example, if a doctor says, “I did this range of motion testing,” but did not, our observer can say, “No we didn’t. I was there.” Those are two important things of which we can be sure when we have somebody present with the client at the examination.

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If you are worried about having to attend independent medical examinations, please don’t hesitate to call our Hamburg personal injury attorneys today to get a free confidential case evaluation.


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