How to Dispute an Independent Medical Examiner’s Report

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on April 3, 2019 and updated on March 3, 2022.

doctor having a conversation with a patientYou may have to go through an independent medical examination as part of the insurance claims process. It is crucial to remember that the examiners are often people who have regularly worked for the insurance company. They are much more likely to reach conclusions that minimize the extent of your injuries or can be easily used by the other side to attempt to deny you any compensation.

The good news is you can dispute this report. You can also seek representation from a skilled Maryland personal injury attorney who can explain how to prepare for this exam and defend your rights once the exam is completed. Our attorneys at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices are committed to protecting the rights of accident victims and will use our insight to assist you during the independent medical examination process.

Preparing for the Exam

Before you go to the independent medical exam (IME), it is important that you have a thorough understanding of what this exam is and is not. It is an exam that is intended to provide information to the insurance company. It is not an exam that is completed for treatment purposes. It is not a second opinion. The doctor may have an established relationship with the insurance company and may not be completely objective.

Before your exam, talk to your personal injury attorney. He or she may have specific tips about this process based on your particular situation. He or she may want you to emphasize certain information or remind you to provide information about symptoms you are having.

Your lawyer may even recommend not taking certain tests or having certain procedures conducted to avoid the insurance company going on a fishing expedition. He or she may also advise you not to mention certain information, such as the status of your case or communications with him or her. Your lawyer may also ask that you take notes after your evaluation.

Before the exam, consider the following information so that you will be able to report it at the time of your exam:

  • Your medical history
  • Any prior injuries to the areas of the body that may have an impact on your current injuries
  • How the accident occurred
  • The location of your body that was injured
  • Your symptoms
  • What causes you pain
  • Movements that are limited
  • Your response to treatment
  • How your life and activities have been limited or adversely affected

Be sure that you plan extra time for this appointment. The doctor may be late, and you may need time afterward to write notes. You do not want to rush through the exam or forget to mention important information to the examiner because you are preoccupied with time. You may also want to bring a friend with you to the exam who can serve as an independent witness of what happened and who can write notes on your behalf.

What to Do During the Exam

There are several things that your lawyer may tell you to do while the exam is underway, such as:

  • Note the time that you began and ended the exam
  • Be honest but do not volunteer unnecessary information
  • Cooperate with the exam
  • Be polite to the medical staff
  • Realize that you are being monitored from the time that you arrive at the appointment
  • Arrive to your appointment early
  • Write a detailed summary of what happened during the exam immediately after your appointment
  • Be prepared to answer detailed questions about your injury and medical history
  • Be sure you understand each question before you answer it
  • Do not exaggerate or minimize
  • Do not discuss any legal aspect of your claim, such as who is at fault, the potential settlement value or discussions with your attorney
  • Do not agree to any procedures that your lawyer advises against, such as x-rays, diagnostic tests or psychological tests

What if the Report Is Unfair?

If you believe that the examination was unfair, discuss this with your lawyer so that he or she can explain its inaccuracy or brevity with your insurance adjuster. Point out any inaccuracies or incompleteness in the IME report. Collect medical reports from your own doctors that contradict the findings of the IME health care provider. You can also ask for information about the IME doctor’s credentials and relationship to the insurance company.

Contact a Lawyer for Assistance with this Process

If you believe that the independent medical examiner’s report is not accurate, it is critical that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can review your IME report and find ways to dispute it. We are prepared to negotiate for a fair settlement of your claim based on accurate information.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now or call our firm at 410-244-7005.