Sometimes, an insurance company will ask a car accident victim to receive a medical examination from an independent doctor who can confirm the victim's injuries. This may sound harmless, but this doctor's appointment could affect the outcome of your claim. Here's what you need to know about independent medical examinations after car accidents:
"Independent" Medical Examination
This type of examination is supposed to be performed by an unbiased doctor that is independent from the car accident victim and the insurance company. However, that is not always the case. The insurance company will get to choose which doctor you see for this exam, and will typically choose one that has a history of examining victims for insurance companies. Even though the doctor is not employed by the insurance company, it's a stretch to call him "independent."
Insurance companies aim to use the information from the examination to poke holes in your claim. After being examined, it's possible that the doctor will tell the insurance company that your injuries were not caused by the car accident. It's also possible that the doctor will report that you are not injured at all or not injured as badly as you claim to be. If this happens to you, the insurance company will jump on the opportunity to offer you far less than you deserve or deny your claim.
What to Do About This Examination
You should never agree to an independent medical examination without consulting with your attorney. In fact, your attorney may be able to argue that the examination is unnecessary so you don't have to go.
If you do have to submit to an independent medical examination, bring someone with you. This person will serve as a witness as to what you said and how the doctor treated you. Talk to your attorney prior to the appointment so he can prepare you for the examination. Your attorney may tell you to avoid saying certain things that can be taken out of context. He may also suggest that you only submit to certain tests that are relevant to your injuries.
Be honest during the examination. The doctor will report back to the insurance company that you are exaggerating your injuries if he suspects you are being dishonest. Immediately after the appointment, write down as much information as possible about what happened. Be sure to hold onto any documents that were given to you regarding the examination and get in touch with your attorney to discuss how it went.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law today. Dealing with an insurance company after an accident can be stressful and intimidating, which is why you should let James Rush take on this task. Call us today at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.