The IME — Insurer’s Medical Examination
Following a bodily injury claim, your insurance company has the right to request that you present to a doctor of the insurance company’s choice for a medical examination. No matter who is at fault in an automobile accident, your insurance company always pays the medical bills through insurance coverage that you purchased called, Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This part of your insurance policy mandates that you must cooperate with your insurance company after you present a claim to your insurance company. This part of your policy also mandates that as part of this cooperation, you must present to a doctor for a medical examination if your insurance company requests you do so. Thus, the right to present to the insurer’s doctor is not optional.
When you present for the insurer’s medical examination, you should bring with you any documents/medical records you have in your possession that related to your accident or injury. You do not need to order records, have them mailed to you, or drive around to your doctors to get records. But if you have the relevant medical records in your possession, then you should bring them along.
You should answer the doctor’s questions, and be courteous and polite. The insurance company doctor may ask you about your home exercise regimen. Therefore, if your medical provider gave you home exercises to do, then you should know what they are and be able to perform them. If you have been attending physical therapy or chiropractic, then the insurance company doctor will likely ask if these treatments have helped you feel better. While you always want to be truthful, if you state the negative, that the treatment you are having are not helping you, then you should be able to tell the insurer’s doctor what you plan to do about that. Obviously, it would be helpful if you talk to your own doctor first, telling your doctor you are not improving and seeing what alternatives are available. Then, when you talk to the insurer’s doctor, you will have something concrete to tell them.
Overall, the insurer’s medical examination is fairly common.
When you get the notice that you must present for a medical evaluation, you should immediately contact your attorney, if you have one, and discuss the specifics of your injury. Remember, in all cases, you must present to the examination, answer the doctor’s questions, and you should be polite and courteous.