Knowing What To Expect During An Independent Medical Exam For An Insurance Claim
Tens of millions of people suffer non-fatal injuries each year that require medical attention. Many of these injuries are the result of vehicle accidents or workplace incidents and require injured parties to file claims in order to receive medical compensation via an insurance company. If you become injured as a result of an accident and feel that you should be compensated for your medical bills, you may have to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) before you can receive a payout.
An IME serves as an objective assessment of your health to help determine how much compensation you receive. If you have never dealt with an extensive insurance claim for medical bills, the following guide on IMEs can help you prepare for your appointment and give you a good idea of what to expect during the exam.
Bring Detailed Notes
The insurance company in charge of paying out your claim may request that you undergo an IME even after you have received treatment from your primary care physician or doctors approved by your health insurance plan. Consequently, you should keep good notes of every step of your medical treatment.
If you hired an attorney to help you process your claim, work with them to create a detailed summary of how your injury occurred, what medical care you sought, and what kind of treatment you received.
Your notes should also contain a list of all prior injuries and any medical conditions you have, no matter how minor. These notes will be helpful for you to rely on when you are describing your injuries and medical history at the IME.
Do Not Exaggerate or Lie
The best thing for you to do when you undergo an IME is to be cordial and as straightforward as possible. It may sound corny, but honesty really is the best policy when it comes to your IME.
You may be angry about your injury or fear that you will not get the compensation you deserve, but lying about your injury will only make the situation worse. If you misrepresent your injuries or lie, you risk being accused of insurance fraud, a serious white-collar crime.
Just relax, be pleasant and tell the truth about your injury. You can keep your answers brief,and if there is something you are unsure of, do not try to wing it. Just say "I'm not sure" or "I don't know."
Do Not Skip Your Appointment and Request Reimbursement for Travel
You can begin making a good impression on the IME physician by showing up early to fill out paperwork. If you find out a few days ahead of time that your appointment will conflict with other plans you have made, simply reschedule. If you are running late, just call the IME's office and let them know.
Do not skip your appointment. In some states, the IME can charge you a no-show fee if you fail to show up for your appointment. You also jeopardize your benefits if you fail to make your appointment. Skipping out does not show good faith, and an insurance company can use that against you when determining your payout.
If you have to pay for transportation to your IME because you cannot drive due to your injury, and there is no one available to take you to your appointment, you should request reimbursement of your travel expenses in your claim.
Do Your Research
If your IME was mandated as part of a worker's compensation claim, the medical examiner will have to abide by state worker's compensation guidelines. Many state worker's compensation boards provide publicly available IME guides that you can view online. While the audience for a state IME guide is the medical community, reading the publication can help you learn what to expect from the perspective of the physician who will examine you.
For more information and advice, contact independent medical examination companies in your area.