One of the most important steps to take after any type of personal injury accident is to seek prompt medical attention. Documenting your injuries after an accident is a key element required to prove damages in a personal injury case. Your doctor needs to evaluate your injuries, develop a treatment plan, and keep detailed medical records. The defense will require medical proof before agreeing to accept liability for a claim. However, do not be surprised if the defense also requests an independent medical exam before it makes a final determination of payment, even if it accepts liability for the accident.
Liability vs. Payment of Damages After an Accident
Accepting liability for the cause of an injury is only one half of a personal injury claim. Even though an insurance provider may acknowledge that its insured caused the accident that resulted in your injury, that does not necessarily mean that the insurance provider is willing to pay the amount of compensation you demand to settle the claim.
The insurance provider wants to minimize the amount of money it must pay to settle your claim. Therefore, it may carefully analyze each medical record and other evidence you submit to search for weaknesses and defenses that can lower the value of your personal injury claim. One way to accomplish this goal is to argue that your injuries are not as substantial as you claim. One way to refute the severity of your injuries is to request an independent medical exam.
What is an Independent Medical Exam?
An independent medical examination (IME) is commonly used in workers’ compensation cases, but IMEs may also be requested in other personal injury cases. An IME is conducted by a physician who is alleged to be neutral in the matter to ensure that the physician’s findings are not influenced by any loyalty to either party or the party who is paying the doctor’s fees. In other words, the IME should result in an unbiased medical opinion of the person’s injuries, treatment, medical condition, impairment rating, and prognosis.
The insurance company hopes to receive a report that refutes some of the medical evidence provided by your doctors. If the IME supports a different finding, the insurance company may use the finding to attempt to lower the value of the claim.
If an insurance provider requests an IME, you should contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney immediately. The process for requesting and obtaining an IME must be followed. Furthermore, if an IME is requested, there is a dispute related to your injuries. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to evaluate your claim and advise you of the steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
Our attorneys offer free consultations so that you can get answers to your questions about personal injury claims and personal injury laws in California. You do not need to rely on the information given to you by insurance adjusters or parties representing the person who caused your injury. You can obtain a no-obligation, case review from an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
Schedule your free case review by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.