After an accident, determining the extent of your injuries and the impact they will have on your life will be anything but straight forward. A professional personal injury lawyer can help you sort out complicated issues.
Your doctor will document the extent of your injuries; how long until you may fully recover, what limitations you will have for the duration of the healing process, etc. The insurance company will want access to your medical records as soon as they can get them.
Legally, you are not obligated to share any medical information unless, and until, you go to trial. Sharing information can be a grey area—you don’t want to give out too much or too soon (the extent of your injuries can take days or weeks to fully manifest), but you also want to finish the legal proceedings in a timely manner with an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to put the whole thing behind you.
Medical Record Review
Your personal injury lawyer will review your case, including all evidence AND your medical records, and provide advice on what files you should turn over to the insurance company. You want to make sure that all medical records go through you—you do not want to give the insurance company written or verbal permission to discuss anything with your doctor.
Once the insurance company has your files the insurance adjuster will likely have questions on the information contained therein. These might be questions about diagnosis, factors considered when determining prognosis, or requests for clarification. In extreme circumstances, the insurance company may want more than clarification from your physician, they may want you to undergo an “Independent Medical Examination” otherwise known as an “IME.”
Independent Medical Examination (IME)
An IME is typically requested only when there are widely differing opinions on the extent of an injury or its prognosis. Usually, this stems from an insurance adjuster not believing the severity of an injury to be as bad as you claim them to be. Because an IME is expensive, usually some sort of compromise is sought, but when no agreement can be reached, the insurance company may request that you meet with an independent doctor for a second opinion.
Your personal injury lawyer will advise you what to say and when to say it, or may act as your spokesperson so you can avoid discussing with the insurance company all together. Additionally, your personal injury lawyer will explain your rights and obligations as pertain to medical examinations. For example, during the preliminary buildup of the case you are not required to submit to an IME, unless it is required by your insurance policy and it is for YOUR insurance company, but, once at a trial, a judge can order an IME, but your personal injury lawyer will be able to express opinions on the choice of doctor.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Fights for You
Contracting an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to maintain your rights and interests during this chaotic time. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Peter Davis & Associates serve Paterson and the rest of New Jersey, working for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact them today for a review of your case. Put experience on your side.