Filing An Injury Claim: What You Need To Know About Independent Medical Exams
Before settling a serious accident claim, insurance companies may request an independent medical examination be performed by a doctor from a company like UMC Medical Consultants, P.C. to verify the seriousness of the claimant's injuries. If this type of exam is requested in your injury case, it is important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to this examination. The information outlined below can help you to gain this understanding and determine the best course of action moving forward with your case.
Your Insurance Policy May Require You To Comply
While the law limits the ability of insurance companies to request independent medical examinations, these limits do not apply in cases where the claimant's insurance policy clearly requires them to submit to an independent exam at the request of the insurance company. If you are unsure about the language used in your own policy, be sure to have this policy reviewed in its entirety by a qualified injury lawyer before submitting to the exam. If your policy does in fact require you to undergo an independent exam, you will need to follow through with this step before you are able to collect a settlement.
An Independent Exam Should Not Result In Hardship
Even if your insurance policy requires you to submit to an independent medical exam, your insurance company does not have the legal right to require an exam that will result in additional hardship. For instance, if the specialist you require is located in another city, your insurance company cannot force you to travel this long distance in order to obtain an independent medical opinion. In this situation, the insurance company will either need to bring the specialist to you or will need to accept the findings of your current specialist.
A Judge May Also Request An Independent Exam
If your injury case results in a trial, the judge presiding over this trial may also request that an independent medical exam be performed. In these situations, the judge must be able to demonstrate that there is sufficient evidence to question the validity of your injury claims. For instance, if the insurance company provides proof that you have engaged in physically strenuous activity since your accident, the judge may decide to order an independent exam to verify the severity of your injuries.
Independent Exams Cannot Be Performed After Recovery
Once you have fully recovered from your injuries, an independent medical exam can no longer be ordered, even if you are still under a doctor's care for residual pain management. This fact applies regardless of who is requesting that the exam be performed.