Should auto accident victims see insurance doctors?
An unexpected consequence of being injured by the negligence of another driver is that you may be required to see a doctor of their choice of liability insurers. These so-called EMIs (for Independent Medical Examinations) are routine in lawsuits and are sometimes requested before a lawsuit is filed, either by the offending driver’s insurance or even your own insurer, if you are looking for PIP benefits. (protection against bodily injury). .
As one can imagine, these doctors do not see you to treat or help you but rather to help the insurance company to pay you less benefits and indemnities. These doctors make huge amounts of money from exams, and insurance companies know which doctors are most likely to think that you are not so injured and that you no longer need treatment.
Often times, these opinions run counter to the opinions of your treating physician, and liability insurers argue that much of the injured victim’s treatment and / or time lost at work is unnecessary. The pool of physicians typically used for NDEs is quite small, but they are well trained in the art of making holes in accident claims.
Many receive forensic training to make them more effective in court and often their far-fetched opinions are often accepted by jurors rather than those of attending physicians, despite the fact that the EMI physician has not seen the person. injured only once and that the attending physicians saw them on several occasions.
So, should we go see these doctors? The answer is usually yes. If you are in a personal injury lawsuit and such a review is requested in a timely manner, you have very little choice, unless there are extraneous reasons not to show up, such as the fact that the doctor is too far away.
Likewise, your own auto insurer often has a policy provision that allows them to request such a review if you are applying for PIP benefits. These reviews were all the rage among insurers 10 or 15 years ago but seem less in demand nowadays.
Ultimately, expect to be referred to an IME if you seek compensation for permanent injuries.