What is an independent medical examination?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2020 | Personal Injury

A person who suffers an injury in a car wreck or any other accident that’s caused by the negligence of another party might choose to seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. These lawsuits must show that the person’s injury was the result of negligence from a party who had a duty to them. They must also show that the injury led to the financial damages they’re dealing with.

In some cases, the severity of the injuries and the impact they have on the person might be questioned. When this happens, the victim may need to undergo an independent medical examination.

Why can’t the defendant accept the word of the victim’s doctor?

There is sometimes a concern that the victim’s own doctor might be biased toward the victim. In order to prevent this from clouding the outcome of the case, the defendant may ask that the victim go to a different doctor. This provides a second opinion on the victim’s injuries and their severity.

There are several things that the independent medical examiner will try to determine. These include:

  • Whether the victim suffered injuries or not
  • Ensuring that the victim’s injuries were due to the crash or accident
  • The severity of the injuries the victim suffered
  • Stating the diagnosis and prognosis of the victim

What happens if the victim doesn’t want an independent medical examination?

There are some instances in which a victim might not want to undergo an independent medical examination. It’s possible that the court may order that the victim has the exam if they want to continue their case.

The issue that sometimes comes up is that the victim and defendant don’t agree on which doctor should perform the exam. When this happens, the court will usually step in to decide. Typically, the independent medical exam is paid for by the party requesting it.

It’s best to discuss the possibility of an independent medical examination with your attorney. Sometimes, the victim’s attorney will attend the examination. This may help to protect your rights if you’re the one who’s being subjected to the exam.