It is not uncommon for an individual who is filing a personal injury claim to be required to have an independent medical evaluation performed to assess the injury claims being made. Even the Social Security Administration uses this legal power when determining whether a claim is valid. It may be important to attend any appointment regardless of who makes it, because the results may be used in an attempt to deny or lessen a claim’s settlement value. Failure to follow up on any appointments could be used by the respondent to claim that the injury is not serious, especially if the treatment regimen from your personal doctor is not comprehensive.
Insurance Company Requests
If a respondent insurance company wants a second opinion and sends you to a specific doctor at a specific appointment time that they made, then you are being tested for seriousness about the claim. Even though the examination is called an independent evaluation, there is very little that is independent about the process except that the supposedly independent medical examiner must be honest about their findings. But, you can rest assured the results will be slanted toward the defense because the medical professional may already have an established relationship with the insurance company.
Evaluation Requests from Your Attorney
One benefit of the second opinion process in a personal injury claim is that your personal injury attorney can also assess the diagnosis of the independent examiner, and request an additional medical evaluation if necessary. This doctor will also have a working relationship with your attorney, and may understand how insurance company legal teams and adjusters negotiate.
Multiple Doctor Appointments
It is important to remember that independent medical examiners are often specialist physicians who understand these type of injuries in greater detail than a general doctor. If you are claiming multiple injuries for damage recovery, the insurance company will also more than likely want an evaluation from a specialist in each medical field in which you are making a claim. This can be tedious and seem unreasonable, but it is important to attend all appointments. If you are claiming a special type of injury that impedes your ability to walk, always use a cane or support of some type if needed. The report from the independent examiner may include information that is not necessarily be medical, such as your arrival time for the appointment and your demeanor.
Always remember that winning a personal injury claim can be a frustrating experience when the respondent insurance provider attempts to bargain in bad faith by denying a claim unreasonably, or delaying payment in an effort to lower the final payout. Being asked to see an independent examiner is not unusual, and many times it can benefit your claim when your personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI trusts can use information from the independent diagnosis to further enhance your claim through negotiation or a court determination. It is always vital to your case to ensure that you comply with these independent appointments.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into independent medical examinations.