How to Prepare for Your Independent Medical Examination
If you make a personal injury claim, then the defense may require you to undergo an independent medical examination. This is almost certain if there are aspects of your injuries that the defense is disputing. The independent medical examiner is a physician who has not treated you before and doesn't have a doctor-patient relationship with you. Here are a few tips for handling your independent medical examination:
You don't have to dress as if you are going for a job interview, but you also don't want to give the wrong impression. For example, appearing for your examination in a jogging tracksuit may make the examiner suspect that you have been running. That would not be a good image for somebody who is claiming that he or she has been sick for a while.
Be Specific With Your Injuries
The more specific you are with your injuries, the stronger your case will be. You need to differentiate between existing and new injuries, physical limitations that you didn't have before and such like things. Such specifics are useful in determining the extent of your injuries.
Honesty is a big part of this interview, and it goes both ways; the examiner has to be honest with its report, and you also need to be truthful with your answers. For example, let him or her know what hurts and what doesn't hurt. If the examiner assumes that something hurts, and it doesn't hurt, you need to correct him or her and not keep silent with the hope of boosting your claim.
An advantage of such an admission is that it gives you credibility and increases the examiners chances of believing your other claims. Apart from that, it is possible that he or she will learn all these things anyway, so it doesn't pay to lie.
Don't act; your feelings, actions, and reactions need to be natural. For example, if the doctor gives your hurt leg a physical examination, there is no point in yelling in pain if that isn't how you are feeling. Such theatrics may only make the IME skeptical of your true feeling.
Recognize That He or She Isn't Your Doctor
Lastly, you need to recognize the position of the IME as an independent professional. He or she isn't your doctor, so you should start asking for a diagnosis, prescriptions or suggestions of pain management drugs. You can ask for his or her opinion (which he or she isn't obligated to give) of the examination, but that is all.
In the majority of cases, independent medical examinations proceed without any incidence. However, if you want to protect your rights during the examination, then you can consult your attorney (like those at the Law Offices Of J. Michael Koch, P.S. Inc.) in prior. Your attorney may also be allowed to attend the consultation.