What to Do at an "Independent Medical Examination"
Be Cooperative and HonestArrive a little early. You may be asked to fill out a medical history form.
Don't be hostile to the IME doctor; be cooperative. The doctor will ask questions about the accident. Keep your answers short and sweet. You should bring a pad and pen and note how long the exam takes and what tests are performed on you. Make this information available to your attorney afterwards.
You may want to bring notes with you to the IME with a list of symptoms ' what hurts you and when and your physical or mental limitations, what medical tests you have had with positive results, and what medications you're taking and why.
During the IME, tell the doctor if it hurts. If something doesn't hurt, don't lie. The doctor will usually know and you may damage your case or claim.
You do not have to submit to invasive tests such as x-rays or take any injections.
Watch for TricksThe doctor may drop something to see if you can bend down and pick it up. Also, you will be observed getting on and off the examination table. You may be subject to videotape surveillance by the insurance company ' so if you walk into the IME using a cane or crutch, make darn certain that you're using the cane or crutch when you leave.
In case you're curious. IME examinations under No-Fault or disability insurance come from your actual insurance policy which always provides that you have to cooperate with the insurance company in its investigation of your claim.
In a personal injury or accident lawsuit, the injured plaintiff always puts his or her medical condition into issue by seeking damages. The defense is entitled to have an IME to enable it to defend against the plaintiff's claim of injury. This right is set forth in New York's statutory (written) law at Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 3121(a), which states:
Do not try to outsmart the doctor or exaggerate your symptomsDo not try to outsmart the doctor. You cannot match the doctor's medical knowledge. Do not offer any negative comments about the Defendant or the Defendants' insurance company. Do not jump on and off the doctor's examination table. Do not exaggerate your problems. Do not moan, groan, wince or grimace in pain every time the doctor touches you. No matter how lightly or heavily the doctor may touch you or press upon you, be natural and be yourself. Do not ask the doctor for medication or pain pills. Do not talk to the doctor about the insurance company, the defense attorneys, or the insurance