Independent Medical Exams: Everything You Need to Know

Bernard Tully Personal Injury Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700

Independent medical exams are known by plaintiff attorneys as defense medical exams because they’re oriented against you. These are commonly used in workers comp cases to get an injured party back to work, whether you are able to safely or not. The defense attorneys (at the behest of the insurance companies) will use the results of the defense medical exam to allege that your injury existed before the incident and wasn’t caused by the accident, or that you have recovered completely from the accident and there are no lingering issues.

The defense insurance companies are smart and always go to the same doctors. When talking with the doctors, they may imply, without outright saying, “this is the diagnosis we want you to say the injured party sustained, and here is some money.  If you want more patients/claimants referred to you, then put this in your report or I may go to another doctor.” This is why some independent medical exams are sort of a facade. The defense doctors usually already know the conclusions they are going to make before they perform a physical exam on you.  The doctors put on a sham examination by going through the motions so their report will have some “legitimacy.”

The issue is that this is a massive money-making machine for defense doctors. On average they may charge about $4,000.00 per exam, and it usually only takes 30 minutes to complete. Unfortunately, once these doctors write their report, they hand it over to the defense insurance company who says the medical doctor decided your injury has nothing to do with the accident. This allows them to extend a low offer, if any, for your injury.

It can be hard going into these appointments because it is common for us to trust doctors. Nonetheless, some doctors do the exams in bad faith already knowing that they are going to say that your injury is either completely healed or it had nothing to do with the accident. That is how defense insurance companies use “independent” medical exams to give you cheap offers or send you back to work when you’re not ready. This is why you need an attorney that can combat that and when we get a chance to cross-examine the doctor you have a chance.

Our main focus is honesty. We always preach it. We are passionate about trying to help any injured person or family member with their case. Questions about the blog? CALL US!

Bernard Tully Allegheny County Personal Injury Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700 and 1-800-518-0050