Medical malpractice claims can be legally complicated. Sometimes, healthcare providers and their insurance companies try to refuse an injured patient’s claim. They might claim that the patient is not seriously injured or that the patient’s injuries are unrelated to the medical error. Because so much money is at stake in malpractice claims, an insurance company might require a claimant to undergo an independent medical exam in a Newburgh medical malpractice case.

The independent medical exam can often give an insurer a better understanding of the patient’s condition. Before submitting to an independent medical examination, you should discuss your concerns with a well-informed malpractice attorney.

Purpose of Newburgh Independent Medical Examinations

The purpose of independent medical exams is to objectively evaluate an injured claimant’s physical or mental condition in a malpractice suit. The doctor who performs the examination has no relationship with the claimant, so the exam is supposed to be an independent tool that can verify the accuracy of a patient’s claim of injury. The physician in charge of the examination would not offer advice or care to the patient. Instead, they would just evaluate their condition in order to make an accurate report.

Physicians would look for any signs indicating that the claimant has exaggerated or falsified their claim of injury, such as inconsistencies in their behavior or account of their injuries. They would try to look for indications of true discomfort and pain. Doctors would also ask about other factors that could have contributed to the injury, such as a pre-existing condition, drug or alcohol use, smoking, or poor eating habits.

Insurance companies cannot always make claimants submit to medical examinations – there are certain limitations. If the exam would force the patient to suffer unnecessary hardships or be too far from their home, a court might not require them to undergo the examination. In addition, if the patient has already healed from their injuries when they file their lawsuit, there would be no need to have the medical evaluation.

Things to Keep in Mind Before an Independent Medical Examination

Although the examination is meant to be independent, the doctor performing the examination is not usually a completely objective evaluator. In most cases, the insurance company hires the physician. Many times, the insurance company works with the same doctors again and again. These doctors are essentially witnesses for the defense and it might be in the best interest of those doctors to downplay a patient’s injuries. For that reason, a patient should do the following:

  • Bring someone with them to the examination so that there is a third-party witness
  • Be aware that everything they say or do is under evaluation
  • Do not volunteer any extra information

Before going to the independent medical examination, a patient should speak with their Newburgh attorney to learn what they should and should not discuss.

Contact a Newburgh Attorney Before Undergoing and Independent Medical Examination

Undergoing an independent medical exam in a Newburgh medical malpractice case is often necessary but is not as simple as you might think. However, as long as you are telling the truth about your injury, you should have nothing to fear from an independent medical evaluation.

You should meet with an attorney to discuss your concerns before the examination. A knowledgeable legal team could help advise you on how to act and what to emphasize so that the doctor does not downplay your injury in their medical report. Contact us today for a consultation of your case.