Washington Law Center has recently fought legal battles throughout the Washington Courts, including at the Washington Supreme Court, before the…
I received an Independent Medical Examination (IME) request, do I have to go?
If you got a letter in the mail, an email, or a call asking you to conduct an IME in connection with your personal injury claim, we encourage you to immediately seek a free legal consultation from the attorneys at Washington Law Center. An IME or “independent medical examination” may or may not be required in connection with your injury claim. Each injury claim is different and the circumstances of your claim will determine whether you need to participate in an IME. If at all possible we seek to avoid our clients attending IMEs because the “opinions” rendered by the doctors are oftentimes not fair or objective.
What is an IME and how can it problematic for my injury claim?
From the outset, we do not believe that most IMEs are actually “independent”. They are exams paid for by insurance companies to help reduce payments on claims or cut them off altogether. Countless injury victims have unknowingly had an IME set up by their insurance company only to find out later that the quick exam was nothing more than a sham intended to allow benefits to be terminated. We believe that you are entitled to your insurance benefits and if you are to be evaluated the exam should be done in a fair and objective manner.
How do I prepare for an IME if I am required to attend?
There are some circumstances that will require you to have an IME. For example, if your Personal Injury Protection or PIP carrier is requesting an IME you likely must participate but that does not mean you should not be prepared. Your attorney should speak with you about what to expect and to help you identify potential issues that may arise during the exam. If possible, the exam should be recorded (with permission) so that it can be used later in litigation.
If the insurance company for an at-fault party requests an IME, you very well may not have to attend. Given the appropriate facts, we would encourage you NOT to do so without speaking to us first.
Each case is entirely different and may depend on specific contracts, laws, and statutes. The one important takeaway that you should know is that IMEs, in our opinion, are not “independent”. These exams are not fair to consumers. We encourage you to seek legal consultation if you have been asked to attend an IME following an injury claim.
Complimentary Case Review with an Injury Attorney
Personal injury litigation can be an invasive and uncomfortable experience, and an IME is no exception. The experienced trial attorneys of Washington Law Center can help! Contact us today to ensure you are properly informed and prepared for your lawsuit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ashton Dennis is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered a serious personal injury or wrongful death. He was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers of Washington State and one of the “Premier 100” trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers in Washington. Click here to learn more about Ashton.