How to Prepare for an Independent Medical Exam
After an accident in Alabama, the injured are often directed by an insurance carrier to submit to a medical evaluation to determine their status. Known as an independent medical examination (IME), this can be requested by the other party’s insurance company and is performed by a non-treating physician whose aim is to assess the injured person’s current condition and provide a second opinion.
Of course, while Alabama law allows for the request of an IME by either party in order to ensure an objective process, far too often the physician requested may be biased in favor of the employer. In this case, the injured party is already on an uneven footing, and must do everything possible to help ensure they receive an impartial review from the doctor.
If you have been injured in Alabama and you will soon be submitting to an IME, it is critical that you adequately prepare beforehand. Before undergoing the process, consider the following preparation tips and consider contacting an experienced Alabama injury attorney to help you prepare for the road that lies ahead.
Write Down Detailed Notes Before Arriving to the IME
It is impossible to know what questions you will face during an IME in Alabama so it is in your best interests to prepare before you arrive by writing down detailed notes that cover the following topics:
- An explanation of how the workplace accident occurred, and the scope of your injury;
- Details of your medical history, as well as any other accidents in which you have been involved that resulted in injury;
- Any prior treatment you have received for this injury, as well as the opinion of your treating physician;
- Your own opinion on how the injury affects you on a day-to-day basis;
- How the injury has affected your ability to work, if you are able to work at all; and
- The future prognosis from your injury as determined by your treating physician.
Of course, it is possible that the independent physician will ask a host of other questions, which is why it’s in your best interests to contact an Alabama injury attorney beforehand for help with preparation.
Take Notes During the Exam, and Bring a Witness
In addition to compiling this information before you arrive, make sure you are prepared to take detailed notes during the examination itself. Writing down everything relevant that you experience during the exam could be valuable information in the future. Furthermore, it is also advised to bring a witness with you to the exam who can help verify your version of the events, should they be disputed at some point in the future. This witness could be a family member, friend or even your treating physician.
Be Honest and Respectful
It is also important that you remain honest during the IME, and treat the physician with respect. Making any false statements during the IME may lead to greater questions regarding your initial recounting of the cause of the injuries, and can jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the future. And, while treating the physician with respect is a sign of courtesy, it could also help you gain sympathy as the physician examines your condition.
Do You Need Help with your Alabama Injury Case?
Filing an injury claim in Alabama can be complex and confusing, which is why it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled legal professional if you are in the beginning stages of litigation or if you simply need assistance in preparing for an IME. The dedicated Alabama injury attorneys at the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC in Mobile have years of experience helping injured Alabamians and we are happy to go to work for you today. Don’t hesitate to contact us either online or by calling 251-473-6691 for a free review and to begin working together on your case.