In any personal injury claim, a plaintiff must establish the existence and extent of their injuries. This is typically accomplished through production of medical records and expert testimony. Defendants, though, are permitted to challenge the plaintiff’s medical evidence.
When defendants want to challenge or test the extent of a plaintiff’s injuries, an independent medical exam (IME) may be requested.
An IME is a medical examination performed by an “independent” physician. The physician is tasked with examining an injured party and assessing the cause and extent of the party’s injuries. Defendant insurance companies typically request an IME of injured plaintiffs.
In practice, an IME should be similar to a physical examination from your own physician.
Your attorney may recommend that they be present for your IME. An IME, even if conducted by a truly independent physician, is a defense tactic intended to undermine the credibility of the plaintiff’s treating physician. For this reason, having counsel present can help ensure that all examination techniques and conclusions meet appropriate standards.