Personal Injury Lawyers
If your case has entered litigation, your reality now is you can’t stop the IME process. According to Attorney Eric T. Kirk who is a personal injury attorney, the rules of discovery in every jurisdiction allow for the physical examination of an injured person by a doctor of the defense’s choosing. Note, however, that is not the case typically before a lawsuit has been filed. This does not mean that the opinions rendered by this doctor are somehow sacrosanct and inviolate. Indeed, the doctor would be subject to vigorous cross examination by your chosen personal injury, attorney. It does mean, however, that the opinion will be rendered, typically reduced to written form, and if the case proceeds to trial, it will be offered to a jury. There is nothing a plaintiff in a personal injury case can do to prevent those events from occurring.
The better approach is to accept that the event will occur. The injured plaintiff should cooperate with the process. The injured person should be candid and forthright with the examining physician -without divulging unrequested detail. For example, it is safe to assume that if the person has a prior accident or treatment for the affected body part, that occurred before the subject accident, the examining doctor is likely to be aware of it. If you have been hurt before, don’t deny having prior accidents, but rather discuss them in a full and forthright fashion. If indeed, you have fully recovered from that prior injury causing event, you should make that known as a matter of record. Answer the questions respectfully and politely. It is always a mistake to unnecessarily exaggerate their pain complaints or disability in the hopes that the physician will feel some sympathy, or be persuaded by these efforts. The more typical outcome after these entreaties is for the physician to opine the individual seems to be magnifying symptoms that have no clear, physical cause. Certainly, this isn’t to say that complaints of pain or limitations in mobility or movement should not be expressed to the physician.
In the end, the event, the IME, will occur, but the personal injury attorney that you have chosen to prosecute your claim for you, will be able to effectively counter the expected medical testimony offered by the defense. In most cases, your own treating doctor may give opinions, favorable to you, and in disagreement with the defense’s IME, and testify for you in court. Situationally, your personal injury attorney may choose to retain a consulting and/or testifying expert. This physician would then examine the treating doctor’s opinions, and possibly as well the IME doctor’s conclusions, and offer additional testimony at the trial of your injury claim.
Contact a personal injury attorney near you for help if you are dealing with a case that requires an independent medical examination.