If you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision, chances are you will be making a claim against an insurance company. As part of that claim, you will ask for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and for your general pain, inconvenience, and distress caused by the accident. Insurance is a multibillion-dollar industry, and they got that way by pinching pennies wherever they can. Insurance medical examinations are one of the best ways they have found to limit their financial exposure.
With neck and back pain, you will often find yourself at a chiropractor or physical therapist office after an auto accident. As soon as you submit your claim to your Personal Injury Protection carrier, they will start looking for ways to cut off your insurance. Insurance policies typically only require companies to pay for medical treatment that is reasonable, necessary, and related to the car accident. By finding that the treatment is no longer reasonable, necessary, or related, the insurance company will seek to halt payments for your medical bills.
The same thing goes once you are in a lawsuit for a Personal Injury claim. If you are claiming persistent back or neck pain after a vehicle crash, the defense attorney will almost always request that you be examined by their medical expert in a “DME” – defense medical exam. These expert physicians are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by insurance companies to give medical-legal opinions to support denying cases for injured drivers and passengers.
Insurance companies and their attorneys typically refer to these evaluations as “Independent Medical Examinations,” but there is nothing independent about them. Many of these insurance companies exclusively practice forensic medicine and may be hired several or even dozens of times a year by insurance companies. These doctors do their best to seem reasonable, but their opinions will always skew favorably to the insurance company because they do not want to bite the hand that pays them.
Before you take part in any medical-legal examination, you should make sure you are properly represented. These doctors and insurance companies are well educated in how to cut off insurance claims. By performing exams in certain ways or asking certain questions, they can ensure that the insurance company no longer must pay your benefits. Personal Injury attorneys – like those practicing at the law office of Magnuson Lowell PS – are experienced in dealing with these insurance companies. Often, the presence of an attorney may be enough to prevent an exam. Or, if you are cut off, your attorney may be able to take steps to limit the damage of the examiner’s opinions.
Being prepared and working with proper counsel may go a long way to ensuring that your medical benefits through your Personal Injury Protection insurer are maintained. Having an experienced team behind you during your lawsuit may create the best possible scenario despite the need for defense medical examinations. Contact the qualified and professional attorneys at the law offices of Magnuson Lowell PS for a free case evaluation.