Frequently Asked Questions

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Insurance Medical Exams (IME)

The insurance company wants to send you to an IME. Now what? In this guide we answer common questions about the basics of an insurance medical exam (IME) and what you should do when attending an IME.

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About IME

What is an IME?

An IME (insurance medical exam) is a medical examination set up by and for the insurance company. The doctor is chosen by the insurance company. The exam is not part of your medical care.

What is the purpose of an IME?

The purpose of the IME is to help the insurance company limit your benefits. The doctor is not there to treat you or help you get better. Most of the time the IME doctor will report that you do not need any additional treatment and the insurance company will cut off your benefits.

Attending the IME

Do I have to attend the examination?

The insurance company cannot make you go to an IME. But if you don’t go, the insurance company will not pay your medical expenses or lost wages.

Can someone go with me to the exam?

Yes, but only as an observer. That person may take notes, but should not say anything during the exam.

How do I respond to the IME doctor’s questions?

First, be candid and honest. IME doctors look for any reason to report that you are exaggerating.

Answer only the questions you are asked. It’s best not to volunteer information. This can be a hard rule to follow, but it’s very important.

Never guess at an answer. An approximation is as good as an exact answer. Guessing will get you in trouble. It’s okay to tell the doctor that you don’t know or are not sure of the answer to a question.

It’s good to let the doctor know if you are continuing to improve with treatment. This shows that the care you are getting from your medical providers is helping you.

If asked, tell the doctor about similar injuries or health conditions you have had in the past, even if they were minor. If you tell the doctor something that is inconsistent with your current or past medical records, the insurance company will accuse you of being dishonest.

If you had similar pain, discomfort or limitations before the collision, you will probably be asked to compare your symptoms before and after the collision.

It can help to answer that question in terms of frequency, duration and intensity. For example, before the collision your symptoms may have been occasional and mild, but after the collision they were more intense and frequent. Maybe you couldn’t (or still can’t) do things after the collision that you could do before. Think about these things before the IME.

Before you go to the IME make sure you talk with an attorney. The better prepared you are, the better you will do.

Costs

What should I do if the insurance company stops paying my bills or wage loss?

If you need more treatment, you should continue to see your provider even if the insurance company is refusing to pay. Your health is most important. If you have any questions you should talk with an attorney.

What will it cost me to talk with an attorney?

If you have questions about your claim, most attorneys will not charge to talk with you.

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