What Is an Independent Medical Examination (IME) and Do I Need to Attend?

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If you are in an accident and claim a physical or mental health injury or disability, the responsible party or the responsible parties insurance company will likely want to obtain a medical examination to challenge those claims.
Doctor filling out a medical exam clipboard

If you are in an accident and claim a physical or mental health injury or disability, the responsible party or the responsible parties insurance company will likely want to obtain a medical examination to challenge those claims. If you have been injured in an accident and seek to recover money from someone else for your injuries, you will probably be required to submit to an Independent Medical Evaluation or IME. An IME is usually done by an expert hired and paid for by the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company. Their findings may be different than what your own doctors are telling you.

You must attend an IME when you are seeking compensation for your injuries if the responsible party requires an independent medical examination. The IME doctor will examine the you to determine that you did in fact sustain injuries. The IME doctor will determine the seriousness of those injuries, and whether those injuries are the result of the accident.

You may want to talk to your attorney before your appointment. Your lawyer will be able to tell you how to emphasize certain aspects of your injury or disability during the evaluation. Your attorney may instruct you not to take certain tests or procedures which are not appropriate during the evaluation. Your lawyer may instruct you on certain subjects and issues that you should not discuss during your evaluation, such as your communications with your lawyer or the status of any settlement negotiations.

The purpose of the evaluation is to obtain information for the purposes of a settlement or civil suit. The doctor will conduct an interview to learn the history of the accident and the medical condition, and then conduct a medical examination. The doctor will look at the medical records. An IME doctor looks for a number of factors about the injury victim, including:

  • Appearance – The doctor will observe you during the examination. The doctor will observe the way you walk into the examination room, how you stand, whether you have trouble climbing onto the examination table, how you sit on the examination table, and anything that the doctor believes is relevant to your injury or condition.
  • Deception – The doctor will be looking for sign of deception or exaggeration and will report any signs that you are untruthful or exaggerating any pain or symptoms.
  • Verifiable Injury – The doctor will review medical reports, such as x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, and nerve conduction studies, for visible, verifiable injuries to measure damage or injury.
  • Reported Pain – The doctor will perform tests which require you to provide indications of reported pain, discomfort, sensitivity or insensitivity.
  • Other Factors – The doctor will ask about other injuries, including injuries that happened before or after the accident, which may have contributed to the injury, or aggravated the injury or interfered with your recovery since the time of the accident. The doctor may ask about drinking, smoking and recreational drug use.

The IME doctor will prepare a report. The report may be slanted towards the responsible party or the responsible parties insurance company because the IME doctors are pair by the defense or their insurance companies.

Settlements and jury awards in serious accident cases usually provide for payment to the injured person, which is paid either by the responsible party or by the responsible party’s insurance company. The party responsible for paying wants to be certain that the injuries are real and that the injuries did, in fact, happen because of the accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident and need help getting compensation for your injuries, call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229 5353.

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Tamika Jones
Tamika Jones
22:29 06 Jan 20
My experience with Martin Hernandez has been stressful not on his part. Martin has been very patient with me when I... wanted to pull every strand of hair from my head. From day one he took time to explain the process of how this was going to be but he would be there to hold my hand all the way and he did just that. His paralegal Angela walked with and held both my hands as well during all of this. When I couldn't get ahold of Martin she would make sure he got everyone of my messages. I would use his services again and recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for all you have done and I'm forever grateful.read more
Russell Craig
Russell Craig
20:51 19 Dec 19
Very pleased with how the case was handled. I hope to never be in this position again as it was a stupid mistake but... with the help of Martin Hernandez I didn’t even have to appear in court on my own. I highly recommend using him and his team, you wont be disappointed.read more
Nicholas Nagowski
Nicholas Nagowski
22:34 14 Nov 19
Worked with Martin in Tampa, Florida. He executed on everything he promised. A well run organization. He called me... back very quickly whenever I reached out, if not answering right away. Definitely would recommend Martin to my friends and family. Thanks again for everything.read more
Mark Lenox
Mark Lenox
16:55 14 Nov 19
I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and I've reached out to Mr. Hernandez explaining my situation. He made me feel safe... through out the whole process. He helped me and extremely happy with the result. Martin knows clearly what are the best steps to take that's why I highly recommend him to anyone.read more
Kimberly McLendon
Kimberly McLendon
02:06 14 Nov 19
Martin Hernandez and his entire staff are extremely friendly,caring,knowledgeable, and treat you like apart of the... family. I hired Martin approximately 2 years ago. My case was a complicated one. But Martin Hernandez did an absolute amazing job. I was always kept current of what was going on with my case. Anytime I called, if Martin was unavailable his hard working staff got the answers I needed. I would recommend Martin Hernandez to everyone. He's dedicated to each case. If you're looking for a lawyer who doesn't just represent you,but welcomes you like family to his firm, Here's your answer. If I could give 50 stars I would. Thank you Martin& staff for all you did. Kimberly Mclendonread more
Chuck Hermanes
Chuck Hermanes
22:21 07 Nov 19
My medical bills had been piling up long before I decided to contact an attorney, and by that time the statute of... limitations was close to ending. My friend recommended Martin Hernandez who is very knowledgeable and who saved me in my situation. My medical bills are finally taken care of because of the work of Martin and his team. From the very beginning, I have no doubt that’s why he had so many great reviews from others. And I am 100% satisfied client who definitely recommend him to anyone.read more
Kymii Plur
Kymii Plur
14:49 01 Nov 19
Martin is the absolute sweetest most understanding lawyer I have ever met. He is very knowledgeable of every situation... and will get you the money that you are deserved. His staff is amazing I love everyone there I couldn't speak more highly of all of them. I would recommend Martin and his staff to my family and anyone who is in need of an attorney don't waste your time with others go see Martin he will take care of you !read more
Gabbie Bell
Gabbie Bell
09:32 26 Oct 19
Martin is very professional, marvelous , and meet all expectations far as handling my family law case.I strongly... suggest him to anyone who is in need of the best lawyer in Florida. Finest lawyer I've ever meet and i thank him for winning my case . He'll be hired by me anytime needed.read more
Johanna Gonzalez
Johanna Gonzalez
21:17 24 Oct 19
Great service. They took my case and guided me throughout the entire process with care and kindness. Thank you!
Parker Darlan
Parker Darlan
17:27 21 Oct 19
Martin and his office were very quick to respond to our inquiry and very professional. Extremely helpful and willing to... listen to the issue and address it in a timely manner. I would certainly use him in the future.read more
Stetson Madison
Stetson Madison
21:02 27 Sep 19
He has been very helpful as my attorney and made himself available whenever I needed. There has been multiple times I... wanted to just take a deal to get it over with but he has continued to work for me to get me in the best situation possible. He is very easy to work with and passionate about helping. He is not just a great lawyer but also a great human being!read more
Louie Serg
Louie Serg
15:51 13 Sep 19
My needs were met and the firm was invested in my case and me as a person. They were easily accessible, return phone... calls and emails promptly. Aggressive, when it was require and got the job done. Martin and his staff all produced the quality of an attorney and firm that anyone would want to hire.read more
Ted Esposito
Ted Esposito
16:49 07 Sep 19
I was involved in a car accident and the first person I called was Martin. He was very understanding and made it very... easy to get the insurance claims process underway. After a year of physical therapy, my case was settled and closed. Thank you so very much!read more
Arica Schmied
Arica Schmied
18:04 20 Aug 19
Amazing attorney!! Martin Hernandez and his firm are the best you'll find. I have known Martin for years and he has... helped my sister and friends in their car accident cases. I can't say enough good things. He is very knowledgeable, kind, and will treat you like family!read more
Noah Chase
Noah Chase
08:48 19 Aug 19
Mr. Hernandez is clearly very experienced - based on my interactions with him. I look for an attorney based on... integrity and experience. I found the integrity that I was looking for with Mr. Hernandez. I would recommend his services to anyone.read more
Fabian Prentice
Fabian Prentice
18:49 13 Aug 19
Martin is an amazing attorney and was able to get all 3 charges off my record. I knew I could count on him from the... moment I retained him as my attorney. He was quick to answer any questions I had and was very reliable. My case lasted over a year and he was always keeping contact with me the whole time. I would highly recommend him if you need a criminal defense attorney.read more
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