Making Changes To Your Life

Understanding Your Car Accident Independent Medical Exam

by Kristin Hawkins

For those hurt by a careless driver, your life may feel like it's been turned upside down. You deserve compensation for your injuries and all the other ways you have been harmed by the wreck. While getting paid for your wrecked car and lost wages are important, you will find that your medical expenses play a starring role in your case. Read on to find out more about the importance of medical expenses and about an important turning point in your case, the independent medical exam (IME).

The Importance of Medical Expenses

If you have been in a car accident but walked away with only minor cuts and bruises, you needn't expect to be paid a financial settlement from the insurance company. They might cover some of your losses, principally your wrecked car, but that is all you can expect. A personal injury case as a result of a car accident without medical expenses is no case at all. On the other hand, if you have injuries that required a trip to the emergency room or a hospital stay, the amount of money billed to medical care is a key figure. The total dollar amount of your medical expenses could result in a payment of pain and suffering and the sum might be anywhere from 2 to 5 or more times the sum of your medical expenses. Even short visits to medical facilities can cost thousands, so you can imagine how much a pain and suffering award might bring.

The Need for an IME

That brings things to the special medical exam known as the IME. The IME gives the other side an opportunity to have an exam performed on accident victims with an eye toward determining both past and future medical needs. Since the other side (the at-fault driver's insurance agency) is aware of how medical needs and costs influence pain and suffering, they may want to dispute your expenses. For example, they may allege that some of your injuries came from previous accidents or medical conditions. In addition, if you have serious injuries that will require future medical care, the IME allows the other side to make their own determination in that regard.

The greater your injuries, the more important it is that you have a personal injury lawyer on your side. When problems arise with your case, they can take over and fight for you. For example, some people don't realize that they can challenge the results of an IME and are entitled to another by a neutral third-party. Speak to an accident attorney about your case today.