Accident injury

Do You Need An Independent Medical Exam After Your Car Accident?

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do, from contacting your insurance to follow up with medical providers. It’s a lot to handle, especially if you’ve been badly injured. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the right steps after a car accident, it can be hard to file an insurance claim or collect damages. What’s even worse, though, is that you can do everything right and still face scrutiny. That’s because, in car accident cases, victims can be required to undergo an independent medical examination (IME).

What Is An IME?

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Typically, individuals who have been injured in car accidents will call 9-1-1, head to the emergency room or urgent care, or see their personal physician about any injuries they’ve suffered. Makes sense, right? Not if you’re filing a personal injury claim in court. If you’re seeking damages, you will almost always be expected to get a second opinion from a specialist chosen by the insurance company. As almost any lawyer will tell you, this isn’t exactly independent, but courts and insurance companies want to be certain that the information presented isn’t biased by your preexisting relationship to your doctor. 

What’s Different About An IME?

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Part of pursuing an IME includes getting appropriate documentation of any injuries you’ve suffered, but what sort of documentation counts? The record trail starts with your personal physician. According to Lane & Lane, the doctor you see immediately after your accident will document all of the injuries that your accidents caused. That being said, these records aren’t terribly important because it’s the lasting injuries that really matter. Your personal health insurance will likely cover your initial injuries; it’s the lasting damages and extra expenses that will really shape your court case.

When you go to your IME appointment, it’s important to know that you’re being watched. This is a total observation, not just a medical exam, and there will be someone observing you from the moment you step out of your vehicle. The doctor will ask about your accident and perform an exam, but if they ask to do more than that, proceed with caution. You should never take any tests, from blood tests to x-rays, without your attorney’s permission.

Navigating The Process

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Many lawyers consider IMEs to be fixed; they argue that these doctors aren’t independent and are predisposed to document cases in ways that favor the insurance companies, not accident victims. This is a contentious claim, but it may contain a grain of truth. With this in mind, most lawyers recommend bringing a friend or family member with you to your appointment and have them take notes throughout the process. They can serve as a witness in the event that there’s a disagreement about your exam when you arrive in court.

Some people have also asked about recording their IME, but many doctors won’t allow you to do this, and in many states, you need the other party’s permission to record the interaction. A recent court case also held that IME observers’ notes are privileged and don’t need to be disclosed in court; they may not even be subject to subpoena. This limits the information you can present to the court and underscores the importance of bringing your own observer.

IMEs are a contentious part of the legal process, but unfortunately, they’re an integral part of recovering damages after a car accident, so the best you can do is document the process well and advocate for yourself. Your doctor may be less biased than the provider you see for your IME, but unless you cooperate with the process, you’ll compromise your case and leave yourself even more vulnerable than you were before.

 

How To Deal With The High Costs Of Personal Injuries?

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Personal injuries are a nightmare for individuals, regardless of the nature of their work. Disability as a result of accidents is likely to severely impact the quality of life, in addition to income deprivation. An individual who suffers from certain injuries will not be considered for certain jobs that were handled earlier and this will affect future of individuals. It is therefore necessary to ensure that victims of accidents and grievous personal injuries seek adequate compensation to manage the medical expenses and for leading a dignified life. Here is all that you need to know about this.

Awareness Of Possible Lifelong Medical Expenses

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Individuals who unfortunately fall victims to accidents, need to be aware of the possible impact of certain injuries. The individual may have to life with the prospect of possible lifelong medical expenses. The expenses may be required to manage the condition and make suitable changes in lifestyle to accommodate the life changing effects of injuries. Most individuals fail to understand this impact and are mostly concerned about completing the hospitalization phase and heading home. A good Baton Rouge lawyer who specializes in handling personal injuries and accident claims will be in a position to help individuals understand the impact of injuries and possible compensation claims.

Seek Fair Compensation from the Insurance Companies

Insurance companies routinely deal with thousands of claims, and follow a procedure that would try to limit the expenses as much as possible. Victims of accidents, who seek compensation, often end up accepting and settling for lesser than adequate compensation. This may appear enough to begin with, but in the long run, victims find that the compensation is inadequate to meet expenses. It is therefore necessary to seek compensation that is fair. The use of a good and experienced personal injury lawyer will help in dealing with the insurance companies.

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Present A Watertight Case In Court If Necessary

Certain cases may require to be contested in court and this is an area that certainly needs the assistance of expert accident injury lawyers. A very small percentage of lawyers specialize in accident injury and it is absolutely essential for victims to use the services of layers who have expertise in handling accident cases. It is necessary to present the case in court in a manner that will prove beyond reasonable doubt that the victim is justified in seeking a certain amount as compensation. This involves knowledge of various laws of evidence and skills in adducing the same to the satisfaction of the court.

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Accident injury cases also mandate the need for presenting medical evidence and examining experts about the possible impact of injuries in future. For instance, certain debilitating injuries may require alterations in residences and lifestyle. This may also impact the possibility of continuing in a profession. It is therefore necessary that all facts be presented in court in a manner that will get a favorable order of compensation. This can only be achieved with the help of legal experts who practice specially in accident injury.