Independent Medical Examination Tactics – #2

Questioning by Doctor and Staff – The IME doctor is not someone intending to help or treat an claimant. The information that the doctor and his or her staff obtain is intended to assess the condition of the claimant – and also potentially gather “leads” for further follow up. Generally speaking, I have found that the more “chatty” the doctor the more they are trying to delve into topics that may not be proper subjects of the examination. It is best to discuss this with your legal advisor before the IME – and do not be afraid to ask for privacy and call your advisor if you have concerns about the questioning. Remember that the IME doctor and his staff have likely already received many if not all of your medical records. Sometimes they will pretend not to have any knowledge about the claims and your history. Doctors (having their own file on a claimant) have sometimes asked staff assistants in front of claimants whether they (the staff or assistant) have any records. Since the doctor has the records, the staff or assistant can truthfully answer that they do not have any records. Hearing this, a claimant is sometimes encouraged to exaggerate or leave out important facts about their condition or treatment. That is a mistake and calls the claimant’s truthfulness into question. Again, it is better to have reviewed this entire procedure with your legal advisor before the IME takes place.
John Reilly

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