If you have filed a Missouri personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your St. Joseph car crash injuries, the insurance company may request an independent medical exam. What does this mean for you and your injury claim?
An independent medical exam is an assessment by a third party physician in order to determine the extent and scope of your injuries. Insurance companies request independent medical exams in order to get a second medical opinion.  If your injury claim is worth a significant amount of money, the insurance company wants to be sure that you have a genuine injury before you are compensated.  They would to answer the following questions:
  • Are your injuries as serious as you claim?
  • Were your injuries really caused in your St. Joseph car crash?
  • Were the medical tests performed necessary in order to diagnose your injuries?
  • Were your injuries treated properly?
  • Was your post-treatment therapy appropriate for your injuries?
  • Are the costs of your medical treatment reasonable for the injuries you sustained?
However, sometimes insurance companies choose doctors that will skew the diagnosis in their favor. They may use the second opinion in order to challenge your medical records.
If you have been asked to undergo an independent medical assessment, discuss the exam with your St. Joseph, MO auto accident lawyer.  Your attorney will be able to advise you on how best to proceed.
Even if you believe that the doctor is biased, you should never lie about or exaggerate your injuries.  Honesty will protect your case in the long run. You can learn more about what to do and how a St. Joseph, MO auto accident lawyer can help you in our companion article, "What Do You Do When An Insurance Company Requests An Independent Medical Exam?"

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.