What Happens at an Independent Medical Examination?
In Ontario, individuals who are injured in motor vehicle accidents are eligible to claim accident benefits to cover the medical and other expenses. The amount of accident benefits coverage available is based on the severity of a claimant’s injuries. In order to confirm the extent of injury and impairment, provincial legislation requires claimants to submit to an Independent Medical Examination, or IME, at the request of their insurer.
What is an Independent Medical Examination and why do I need to attend one?
In the context of an insurance or accident benefits claim, an Independent Medical Examination, or “IME”, is a review of your medical status by an independent specialist, done at the request of your insurance company. This person will review your medical history and current health as it relates to your claim, and provide a written opinion.
The medical examiner has never met you before the IME, nor will they provide any treatment or medical advice to you directly. Their role is to provide an unbiased opinion of your recovery and/or prognosis.
What happens when I attend an Independent Medical Examination?
Insurers will send notice of your IME in advance, with the location, date and time. Remember that the examiner is not your doctor. Their report is going to be sent to your insurance company. Be sure that you do not exaggerate or underplay your injures, and to tell them about all issues you are having that relate to your accident.
The examiner will interview you, asking questions about what happened, your injuries, and how they have progressed. They will want to know about the treatment you have received, and how you are recovering. They will likely review your other medical records and conduct a physical exam. Specifics will vary depending on the areas of your body that have been injured; for example, if you have suffered a back injury, you may be asked to move, bend or twist in certain ways and assess your pain level with each movement.
An IME can take several hours, depending on the extent and severity of your injuries. At the end of the exam, the doctor will prepare a report that your insurer will use to inform their assessment of your claim.
Toronto motor vehicle accident lawyers helping injured victims claim accident benefits
Refusing to attend an IME could jeopardize your right to benefits. If you are making a claim for insurance benefits and have been asked to attend an examination, a personal injury lawyer can give you advice and guidance about what to expect.
At Derfel Injury Law, we have assisted hundreds of injured victims advance claims for accident benefits, and we can also help with civil claims for damages against negligent drivers. To speak with one of our personal injury lawyers, contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment. For convenience, we can meet clients in Toronto.