Urgent Care for Automobile Accident Exams
If you were recently involved in a collision, your automobile accident lawyer may recommend that you get an IME or “independent medical evaluation.” This is an opportunity for a provider to evaluate your injuries through comprehensive automobile accident exams, which helps determine what future patient treatment you might need as a result.
The IME is often required in court to show your future healthcare bills and help a judge determine your compensation after the accident. IMEs are also important because they are usually given by a provider who will not treat you later – this means that provider has no vested financial interest in your treatment and so the estimates are believed to be fair and accurate. In other words, the IME is always performed by a medical professional who has no previous provider/patient relationship with the injured person.
Aside from assigning a dollar amount to your injuries, an IME will also show a description of your vehicle accident injuries, explain how serious they are and determine whether they were truly caused by the accident or could be related to an underlying issue that existed before the car injury. Your lawyer will use this information as evidence during your automobile accident claim.
Having an independent IME report is important, especially if you have only been examined by the insurance company’s provider before. Insurance companies have an invested interest in the results of your examination, so it’s important that you get an independent report instead – or at least in addition to the exam performed by the insurance’s provider.
Other things an IME will include:
- All interrelated details of the case
- A clear and detailed discussion of the case and all necessary procedures
- A comprehensive description of all symptoms and whether/how they need to be treated
- Treatment recommendations
What to Expect During an IME
The type of tests the IME includes depends greatly on what type of injury you sustained during the accident. At our urgent care Rockville, MD office, we offer comprehensive IMEs to help guide you through the court system and obtain the medical compensation you are entitled to under your automobile accident claim.
Most IMEs include a thorough medical examination, but there is also a strong emphasis on the medical history of the patient. This means our providers will spend considerable time asking you questions about your health before the accident, how you were injured and your current symptoms. You will also have to answer questions about any treatment you have already received.
You can bring a friend or another medical professional (such as a nurse) along to your appointment for an IME.
How to Read the IME
Not all IMEs are the same. In fact, it’s possible to include/exclude certain aspects based on what’s requested at the time of examination. For example, the following things are optional:
- Prognosis: explaining possible outcomes after the accident and how likely the person is to recover or how fast
- Impairment rating: how serious the accident was and how it affected certain functions, from sight or hearing to cognitive function or physical abilities
- Future care recommendation: what type of medical treatment (short and long-term) is required
- Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI): the level of improvement likely to be obtained after the accident. For example, the person might be able to recover completely or only achieve a partial recovery
What to Do After Automobile Accident Exams
Once you have received your final medical report, you’ll have to go back to your primary care provider to treat any conditions or injuries that were discovered. To ensure that the report is admissible in court and remains valid, the providers who examined you for the report cannot be the same ones who treat you later on. Your automobile accident lawyer will help you determine what else needs to be done after the exam.