Auto Accident Attorney Advice: Compulsory Medical Examinations

You’ve been injured in an automobile accident and you receive a notice of a compulsory medical examination (CME) stating a date, time, and address of a doctor’s office.  Now what?

You may have been seeing a doctor for your injuries since your accident, but some insurance companies or their attorneys may require you to submit to yet another medical exam if there may be a disputed medical condition. This type of medical examination is not optional and is paid for by the requesting party, the insurance company. This will be performed by a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing, whom the insurance company pays to evaluate your injuries. This is a very important detail to remember.

While many individuals instill a lot of trust in all doctors, remember that a doctor paid by an insurance company may be conducting your examination through the lens of his or her payor. If you happen to receive a copy of the report, do not be surprised if it greatly differs from the report of one of your own doctors. The results of the CME exam are given to your insurance company. From there, the insurance company will evaluate your claim and may or may not make an offer to settle your case.

The following are a few tips to keep in mind when attending a CME:

  • You are not required to fill out a patient intake or any lengthy forms. However, you may be required to give simple information such as your name, date of birth, and address. Many times you can just have the office make a copy of your driver’s license.
  • The purpose of the CME is for a medical doctor of the insurance company’s choosing to see how you are feeling at the given moment—you need not disclose past medical history or submit to any invasive procedures (such as, but not limited to, giving a blood or urine sample, or taking MRIs or x-rays). Be honest with your responses and complaints of pain.
  • A CME is not a time for the doctor to ask you questions about how the accident happened, what you did to avoid the accident, who was involved, where you were going, or who is at fault for the accident. If a doctor starts to ask you questions like this, you may respectfully decline to answer or ask him/her to refer to the police report in the case or your medical records.
  • The notice of CME may ask you to bring documents to the exam. Unless these documents are in your exclusive control, it is the responsibility of the insurance company or its attorneys to provide your medical records to the CME doctor.
  • The defense attorney or representative of the insurance company may not attend the CME. However, as the examinee, you are permitted to have your attorney, spouse, or a person of your choosing, including a videographer, present during the entire exam.

If you received correspondence from an insurance company to submit to a CME, it is not too late to call Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., where the experienced staff and attorneys take every possible measure to protect client interests and prevent the insurance company in over-stepping its boundaries and impinging on your rights.

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