While your disability insurance claim, appeal, or lawsuit is pending, the insurance company may send you for an independent medical examination. The term “independent medical examination” — often referred to as the IME — is a misnomer. A more accurate term would be a “defense medical examination.” IMEs are conducted by physicians who are paid by the insurance company to evaluate claimants. Sometimes insurance companies secure these examinations through outside vendors who act as middlemen between the insurer and the physician. The IME process does not favor claimants. Disabled worker lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire, has in-depth knowledge of the IME system and is ready to protect your rights if you are scheduled for an IME.
Why IMEs Are Not Independent
The independent medical examinations are, more often than not, biased exams that result in unfair medical reports. These reports can lead to the loss of benefits and physical, emotional, and financial ruin for claimants. Having developed an extensive database of physicians and vendors, Disabled worker lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can help you if you are the victim of an unfair medical opinion. “Independent medical examiners” are rarely independent. Too many of these examiners depend on insurance companies for their livelihoods. A doctor who is hired by an insurance company wants opportunities for repeat business. If the doctor writes reports that favor disability claimants, he or she will not receive additional IME work.
Our law firm is well aware of the financial interests involved as well as the strategies that must be used to confront this issue.
Tips for Your IME
Be cautious about your activities in the days before and after your IME. Insurers often place claimants under surveillance during this time. They hope to catch you doing something strenuous that you’ve claimed you cannot do, such as carrying grocery bags, mowing the lawn, playing sports, or even driving, for example. When it comes time for the exam, bring someone with you. Ask your witness to note the time when your exam begins and ends and to jot down anything that seems important. Even better, have your witness make a video of the exam. A video will reveal an obviously inadequate exam and it may even encourage the doctor to be more thorough. Be sure to ask the doctor first if you can take the video. If the doctor is fair, he or she should not object. Do not attempt to record the exam surreptitiously. Doing so may violate criminal electronic surveillance laws. Tell the doctor anything you think he or she should know about your condition, but don’t bring up any other matters. Always bear in mind that this doctor is examining you, not to treat you or to help you get benefits, but to find reasons the insurance company can use to deny your claim.
Contact a Disabled worker Lawyer For a Case Review
Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire, a Disabled worker lawyer, provides knowledgeable representation to clients who are about to face an insurance company doctor at an IME. For guidance regarding your independent medical exam, or other assistance with obtaining long term disability benefits, call us at 617-357-9700 or toll-free at 866-396-9722 or contact us online.