Every medical malpractice lawsuit in Albany revolves around a doctor’s choices when providing treatment. To prevail in these cases, you need to prove that a doctor’s failure to provide adequate care resulted in an injury that negatively impacted your life. One common defense against these allegations is that the alleged malpractice did not result in any new health concerns.

To this end, a defendant doctor and their legal counsel may request that you submit to an independent medical exam (IME). These exams are legal under the law and exist to allow for a supposedly non-biased view of your injuries. Defendants often use these in an attempt to argue that while malpractice may have occurred, the damages were not as severe as you allege. The impact of an independent medical exam in an Albany medical malpractice case can be substantial. It is essential to have strong legal support to combat the results of these exams.

Why Defendants Insist Upon IMEs

In every medical malpractice case, the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that malpractice occurred and that this malpractice impacted their life. Because of this fact, the evidence in the case consists of both the original medical records from the defendant’s treatment, as well as an expert’s reports. Understandably, this report will take a pro-plaintiff angle. During a trial or settlement negotiations, a plaintiff will point to these reports as proof of fault.

Defendants have the right to request an independent medical exam to rebut the plaintiff’s expert’s findings. This doctor will perform a personal examination of the injured plaintiff to determine the cause of an injury and the resulting severity. The defendant will pay for this exam and the results tend to favor the defense’s case. As a result, the impact of an independent medical exam in an Albany medical malpractice case can be significant.

Fighting Back Against IMEs

While independent medical exams can play a major role in a defendant doctor’s case, they are no infallible pieces of evidence. An attorney in Albany could help contest the validity of these reports and present evidence that rebuts their conclusions in court.

One limiting factor to IMEs is that the doctor performing the exam has limited time and resources to spend on the matter. They may only receive partial reports from defense counsel and be forced to make conclusions with this insufficient information. They will also have only a short time to examine the patient and will not be able to see how a condition has progressed over time.

Disputing an Independent Medical Exam

It might also be possible for an Albany attorney to argue that an IME doctor’s findings are biased. With these doctors working for defense counsel or medical malpractice insurance providers, a lawyer could argue that they entered the exam with an agenda and that their findings should be subject to increased scrutiny.

It is essential to be able to dispute these reports within a relatively short period of time. New York Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 214-A says that people have no more than two-and-a-half years after an incident to bring a case to court. The complexity of a medical malpractice case is not a valid reason to request an extension. As such, quickly evaluating and disputing an IME is critical to many cases.

Let an Attorney Help Limit the Impact of Independent Medical Exams in Albany Medical Malpractice Cases

Independent medical exams are a common defense tactic in medical malpractice cases. However, we recognize that these exams are not truly independent but could still have a profound impact on a case.

Let a lawyer take the lead in fighting back against IMEs and the effect that they can have on medical malpractice cases. We could dispute the impartiality of a doctor’s exam and balance the findings of these reports against the conclusions of your own experts.