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For a mandated independent medical examination, do I have a right to have my attorney present during the physical exam?

Youngstown, OH |

I was recently involved in a motor vehicle accident in which I was injured and filed a claim. My insurance company has scheduled me to be seen for an independent medical exam. A friend of mine went to the same doctor for a claim relating to workers compensation, and they indicated at that time that an immediate family member or spouse could attend the exam, but that an attorney would be required to stay in the waiting room. Do I have a right to bring my attorney into the exam itself even against the IME doctor's wishes if I want to or is their policy about immediate family legitimate?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. You should ask your attorney the answer to this question, Generally they cannot prohibit your legal counsel from being present during the exam. If they try to deny access to your lawyer, then your lawyer needs to make an argument to demand they be allowed to be present.

  2. If the parties cannot agree on the ground rules for the examination, then it falls to the trial judge to resolve the dispute. In Ohio, it is not customary for the IME to be recorded, or for plaintiff's counsel to attend. Most judges would defer to the IME doctr's wishes in this regard, and, if I remember correctly, there is case law that a judge does not abuse his discretion in so deferring.

  3. Looks like Mr. Holcomb has given you specific advice and you should follow it. In Florida we are allowed to have the attorneys attend compulsory examinations.

  4. Holcomb has give you good advice.

  5. Good outline by Mr. Holcomb, but, I would sit down and discuss this issue with your attorney.

  6. This is an excellent question that needs to be answered by your attorney, not attorneys on second-guessing your attorney. Case law on this situation varies by State and you should speak with your attorney.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  7. Yes. However, most attorneys do not attend these exams with you. Instead, they have you take notes of how long the exam took and what the doctor actually did to/with you. These exams are usually a load of bs and just part of the process used by the insurance industry to contest what your treating physicians say about your injuries and treatment. What you can/should do is to secretly record the exam on your cellphone. Bring your spouse or family member with you and have them do it while the doc "examines" you. If you don't have a spouse or family member, you can do it yourself. Just hit the record button before the doc comes in the room and record the entire event. That way, you can challenge his/her "expert report" with actual evidence of what was done during the exam, or not done for that matter. If you have not already done so, you should also seriously consider hiring yourself a good personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. Good luck!

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