If your insurance company or the defendant’s lawyer has asked you to undergo an Independent Medical Exam, aka an IME, we have a few tips of how what to do and not do. It’s important to communicate with your attorney before and after the exam. A good personal injury attorney will help you prepare for these exams. It is the goal of the insurance company to minimize their costs and find fault with your injury claims. The defendant’s attorney will seek to negate or diminish your injuries.
The IME doctor is listening to everything you say and watching everything you do so keep these tips in mind:
What You Should Do at an IME:
- Be honest and cooperative with the doctor.
- Be pleasant but don’t laugh during the examination. If you’re in pain don’t be afraid to express that to your doctor.
- Be polite and concerned. Give the doctor accurate, but brief, history on how your accident or injury occurred. Do not be afraid to say “My attorney had advised me not to speak about specifics of the accident, only my injury and what hurts.”
- If asked, give the doctor an accurate history of your job details and what you do in terms of lifting, bending, stooping, carrying, and walking.
- If the doctor asks you about any previous injuries or illnesses you had before the present one, be honest but it’s best to discuss this information with your attorney first and be prepared how to answer.
- Be consistent in your answers. If you are complaining of back, right leg and knee pain to your own doctors, you should be complaining of your back, right leg and knee pain to the IME doctor.
- Ask the doctor to send a copy of his or her evaluation to your treating doctor and your attorney.
What Not To Do at an IME
- Don’t lie. That can undermine your whole case.
- Don’t talk about your accident, injuries, insurance company or case in the elevators, common areas or doctor’s waiting room or on your cell phone in a public place.
- Don’t come to the doctor with hands that look like they are dirty from working.
- Don’t come to the doctor with painted fingernails unless done at a nail salon.
- Don’t jump on and off of the table at the doctor’s office and don’t run or skip out to the car.
- Don’t come wearing high heel or cowboy boots.
- Don’t discuss your marital situation with the doctor unless the exam is for a psychological injury. Your marital situation is not relevant to the present examination. This is a physical examination.
- If you have a bad back, don’t bend down and untie your shoes. Wear loafers and kick them off/slide them on.
- Don’t allow the insurance company’s representative or nurse to be in the examining room with you and the doctor, politely ask them to leave saying a medical exam is private.
- Do not discuss what you deserve for a settlement or your plans for spending the money you may get.
If you were seriously injured in an accident, please call us at 516-222-4000 for a free consultation.