If the insurance company refuses to fully compensate you for the injuries you suffered in a truck accident or Virginia’s statute of limitations to file your lawsuit will expire soon, you may need to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. As part of the discovery phase of your case, the insurance company may ask that you submit to an independent medical examination. Here’s what you need to know about what they are and what you can do to prepare for one.
What Is an Independent Medical Examination?
In Virginia, the insurance company can require you to submit to an independent medical examination when you file a lawsuit claiming you were injured and are entitled to damages. While they are called independent medical exams, they are not independent.
The insurance company would pick the doctor to examine you and pay the exam costs. They would be looking for evidence that your injuries were caused by another incident other than the truck crash or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
The physician examining you would likely provide the insurance company with information helpful to their case. They would prepare a report outlining their findings and file it with the court.
How to Prepare for an Independent Medical Exam
If you have to submit to an independent medical exam, you can take steps to protect yourself during the process. Here is what you should do:
- Arrive early. You will make a better impression if you are early for the exam. Don’t start the exam negatively by arriving late.
- Bring someone with you. Ask a friend or family member to attend the examination with you. If there is a dispute about what you said or what happened at the exam, they can testify on your behalf at your trial.
- Stay on guard. The doctor’s staff could watch you from the moment you drive into the parking lot until you leave after your appointment. They are looking to see if you do anything inconsistent with your injuries. The insurance company could also hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance before your scheduled examination.
- Know your medical history. Before you go to the examination, review your medical history and notes about your doctor appointments and treatments. If you need to, bring notes to the appointment so that you can accurately answer the doctor’s questions.
- Cooperate. Be cooperative with the doctor and their staff. If you are defensive or argumentative, you will make it more likely that the physician’s report will be negative.
- Be truthful. Be honest when answering the doctor’s questions. If you are caught lying or exaggerating your injuries, this would damage your credibility and weaken your claim.
Were you or a family member hurt in a truck collision caused by a negligent truck driver? You need the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To find out about our track record of success in these cases and how we can help you, call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.