After a car accident with injuries, you may find yourself having to cope with quite a lot of medical treatments. Almost any type of injury can create a lot of tests, treatments, medications, surgeries, and more. Unfortunately, some accident victims must endure an entirely different kind of medical exam if they want to be paid compensation from the at-fault driver. Read on to find out more about the independent medical exam (IME) for auto accident cases.
Understanding the Importance of Medical Treatment and Costs
With a name like auto accident, you might not realize that physical injuries are part of the issue. While you can file suit for a number of types of harm done to you, being paid for a car accident is probably not going to happen unless you are injured physically in some manner. Not only are physical injuries a requirement, but the dollar amount that an accident victim's treatment costs plays an important role in the total amount of compensation you get.
For example, if your medical bills total more than $100,000, you probably suffered from a fairly serious injury from the accident. To determine pain and suffering, that figure can be multiplied several times. Based on certain factors, you might be able to show that your pain and suffering should be multiplied by three times the dollar amount of the medical costs, for example. That means a payment for pain and suffering of $300,000. Unfortunately, this means the dollar amount of your medical costs and your medical condition could be challenged by the other side.
What Can Be Learned From an IME?
The request for an accident victim to undergo an IME comes from the other side when there are questions about the medical condition of the victim. In some cases, there might be suspicions of a preexisting condition that caused or contributed to the alleged accident injuries. In other cases, the other side is questioning why certain treatments were provided. Also, an IME can provide information about what to expect in terms of future medical costs for injuries that are not likely to heal anytime soon.
What Else to Know About the IME
These exams are supposed to be independent but may not be. The doctor is often chosen by the insurance carrier, so the doctor's ability to be impartial can be in question. You are usually allowed to have your own IME performed if you disagree with the results of the initial exam. To ensure that no mistakes are made with your IME, speak to your auto accident lawyer about how to conduct yourself at the IME.