If you've been hurt by a careless driver, the amount and nature of your medical expenses could play an unexpected role in your total compensation. Medical treatments are closely linked to not just compensation for medical expenses but can also help determine how much you are paid for your pain and suffering. That makes your medical expenses a very important factor when it comes to personal injury cases. The importance of this factor is underscored by your participation in what is called an independent medical examination (IME). To find out what an IME means to your case and how to handle it, read on.

What an IME Means to Your Case

If you sustained serious injuries after a car accident and the wreck is the fault of the other driver, that driver's insurer is likely liable for your losses. In many cases, medical treatment costs can make up a large portion of what an insurer has to pay after an accident. When you consider the high cost of medical care, it can easily eclipse that of the cost of even luxury vehicles. That makes medical expenses a prime target for the other side. They must keep their costs down and that means keeping medical costs down. That is why some accident victims may be asked to undergo an IME.

What Happens At An IME?

This exam attempts to evaluate the exact state of your health at a moment in time. With that goal, the injuries that you claim were caused by the accident are examined in great detail. The insurer is interested in finding out:

  1. Are you injured and, if so, how?
  2. Could your injuries have been caused by something else other than the car accident?
  3. Are your injuries healing properly?
  4. Will you require more medical treatment in the future?

And so on.

How to Handle An IME

In all likelihood, you won't be able to turn down this request and still be compensated. You can, however, undergo the exam with an eye toward protecting yourself. The doctor performing the exam is supposed to be unbiased but they are being paid by the other side. You should be very careful about what you say and do during this exam. If you get a request to participate in an IME, it's time to get a personal injury attorney. You will need to know what to not to do to avoid ruining your case. Also, you can request an IME be performed by a doctor of your own choosing. To find out more about coping with this event, speak to a personal injury lawyer.