Getting Help With My Back

Two Critical Characteristics Your Independent Medical Examiner Must Have

by Renee Ruiz

An independent medical examination can mean the difference between a client winning or losing their bid to secure compensation for injuries caused by a liable party. Thus, selecting the right examiner for the job is of the utmost importance. Here are two things you should look for in an independent medical examiner to ensure you get someone who will treat your client's case with the utmost respect and impartiality it deserves.

Make Sure Their Qualifications Match the Medical Issue

This may seem obvious, but the independent medical examiner's credentials and experience should match your client's medical issues as closely as possible. For instance, if your client is being treated for back injuries, you'll want to hire an orthopedic doctor to evaluate them. This ensures your client receives an accurate assessment of their condition, something that may not occur if the patient were to be evaluated by someone outside of that specific field.

You have to be careful here, though, because the specialist that seems like the clear choice may not be who your client needs. For example, your client suffers from back pain so you assume they should see an orthopedic doctor. However, the back pain is the result of a brain injury, so your client should really be evaluated by a neurologist.

Your client's diagnosis should indicate the type of specialist to hire. If you're not sure, contact other health care professionals or an independent medical examinations (IME) referral service that can point you in the right direction.

Verify They Are Actively Practicing Medicine

When searching for an independent medical examiner, it's important you find someone who is actively practicing in their field. Some IMEs make the majority of their income by doing these examinations and providing expert testimony in court cases. While there's nothing wrong with that, the opposing side in your case may take issue with it and question the IME's impartiality or motive. This could result in the evaluation being rejected or discredited which may hurt your client's case.

Thoroughly investigate the IME's background to ensure they are a reputable health care provider who is currently treating patients. Additionally, you want to check that they don't have any professional or personal relationships that may call their impartiality into question. For instance, if the IME is a good friend of yours, the opposing side may feel that personal connection unduly influenced the IME's evaluation and try to discredit it based on that.

For more information about choosing an IME to examine your client or assistance in locating someone, contact an independent medical examinations referral service.