If you have been in a car accident and filed a lawsuit against another driver, then you likely know what an independent medical examination (IME) is. The correct term is actually DME (Defense Medical Exam) because there is nothing "Independent" about the doctors performing these exams. The IME (DME) is often a required component of a personal injury lawsuit involving an auto accident, as in all personal injury claims.. If you have filed a claim for personal injuries resulting from a car accident, the opposing party's attorney (who represents the opposing party's insurance company), will have a doctor evaluate you and form an opinion as to whether the car accident, and thus the opposing party's conduct, was the actual cause of your injuries.
Is An IME Legitimate?
An IME is not really independent for many reasons. First, the defendant's attorney and the defendant's insurance company, is choosing the doctor that is evaluating you. Our Miami motor vehicle insurance claims lawyers know this doctor is getting paid big bucks to find that your injuries are not really related to the car accident at all. The doctor does this for a living, and some get paid $900 an hour or more for their time in reviewing records, examining the patient, writing reports and testifying.. While the doctor may agree that you are injured, he or she may indicate that you already had this particular injury prior to the car accident.
For example, let's say you were involved in an accident where a drunk driver hit you directly on the driver's side of the car. You subsequently are diagnosed with neuropathy. You have the so-called "independent" doctor examine you and the conclusion is that you have this neuropathy because you had diabetes prior to the accident, and neuropathy is common in diabetics. The doctor will look for anything to try and link some pre-existing condition to your current condition in an effort to relieve the drunk driver of as much liability as possible.
How Does An IME Affect My Motor Vehicle Insurance Claim?
If an IME shows that you do not have an injury that was the result of a car accident for which you have filed suit, the opposing party's insurance company may choose not to pay. Therefore, in order to protect yourself from an IME that is quite frankly untruthful, you should take every precaution possible to document your injuries from the second you are able to after the accident has occurred. Have your own doctor evaluate you shortly after the accident. Speak with your own insurance company right away and establish a communication trail, but only after you speak wit a qualified lawyer who can explain the law and your rights. In our firm, we attend or video-tape many of the medical exams our client's attend. We have a proven method that diminishes the weight and credibility of the Doctors opinions where they clearly are not in accordance with what the treating or operating Doctor believes. Having an experienced Trial lawyer on your side will greatly improve your chances of prevailing in a claim
Bad Faith Denial of Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims
Oftentimes, insurance companies will deny claims simply based on an IME that is one person's conclusions of the events that occurred, and a person that is being compensated thousands of dollars. Many physician's who perform IME exams, do 4-5 a week, average over $3-5,000 per exam, collect, in many cases a Million Dollars a year, an do not treat, prescribe medication or treatment to an injured person while having no worry about being sued for medical malpractice. Insurance companies want to pay the smallest amount they possibly have to when resolving claims. They may offer a low settlement amount that seems unconscionable when you know that your injuries are worth substantially more. You may already have documented medical bills that exceed the insurance company's low offer. When you are fighting with an insurance company that plans to use an IME to show that its insured driver is not the cause of your injuries, you need an attorney on your side that will fight to the fullest in order to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Insurance can be our savior, but it can also be to our detriment. Documentation is a key way to combat the denial of motor vehicle insurance claims, especially those for compensation to pay for medical care that was the result of an accident that was not your fault. Speak with an experienced personal injury and motor vehicle insurance claims attorney as soon as possible. Don't allow an insurance company to take advantage of you.
Contact Our Miami Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims Lawyers Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Miami Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims Lawyers of Greenberg Stone & Urbano, P.A. have over 100 years of combined experienced in successfully helping clients receive the compensation they deserve under a motor vehicle insurance policy. Our attorneys will advocate for your rights and protect you against the bad faith denial of claims. Our attorneys have been voted "South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers" by the Miami Herald, have been rated "AV" by Martindale Hubbell, and have been listed as "Superlawyers," a title putting them in the category of being some of the best lawyers in America. The Miami Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims Lawyers of Greenberg Stone & Urbano, P.A. have also been invited to be members of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Call Greenberg Stone & Urbano, P.A. today to schedule your free consultation to evaluate your potential motor vehicle insurance claim with one of our attorneys. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.