Covington Accident Lawyer explains what an independent medical exam is and how it will affect your accident claim.
If the at-fault insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable amount to settle your case and you choose to go forward with litigation, the insurance company may exercise its right to have you examined by a doctor of their choosing. As a Covington Accident Lawyer, I know that Civil Rule 35 of the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the legal right of the at-fault insurance company to ask for the medical examination. Although the rule says that the medical exam must be requested, I know from over 29 years of practice that the Court will grant the request 100 % of the time when the injuries are in dispute.
The doctor performing the medical examination and the at-fault party may refer to the examination as an “independent medical examination,” but the reality is that the examination is anything but independent. Typically, the physical examination is very brief–sometimes only 15 min.–and the fact that the doctor is being paid a significant amount of money to perform the examination and testify is evidence that the examination is not independent or unbiased. Frequently, the doctor performing the examination will reach conclusions that cannot be supported by physical findings and the medical records. Often, through cross examination, the doctor performing the medical exam will provide helpful testimony for the accident victim. It has been my experience since 1986, that if a treating doctor reaches a certain opinion and that opinion is contradicted by the at fault party’s doctor, juries will typically follow the treating doctor’s opinion.
It is a certainty that the doctor performing the medical examination will reach the conclusion that the motor vehicle accident did not cause the claimed injuries or that the accident victim simply does not have any injuries. This opinion can be effectively countered by the bias of the doctor. However, if the accident victim tells the doctor something that is contradicted by medical records or the victim’s deposition testimony, then the doctor can provide testimony that will significantly damage the accident victim’s case.
If you have a case where the insurance company does not believe your injuries, you can expect that litigation will be necessary to resolve your claim and that a medical examination is probable. You will need an experienced Covington Accident Lawyer to maximize your recovery. For a free case evaluation, contact Covington Accident Lawyer Matt Troutman of the Troutman Law Office. Call Matt directly or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here.