You've been in a crash and wisely have hired an attorney. The insurance company for the at-fault driver has made an absurdly low offer. You have heeded your lawyer's advice and a lawsuit has been filed.
Interrogatory answers have been filed under oath embodying your perception of what took place and the insurance defense lawyer has taken your testimony at deposition, surely that is it, right?
Nope, the last real imposition on you will be the defense medical examination. Insurance companies call them indpendent medical exams but there are nothing " Independent" about IMEs.
You are being sent to a doctor hand chosen by the insurance carrier and their lawyers. The doctor has been trained in forensic testimony techniques and is likely to suggest you have treated too much or that your injuries aren't related to the crash you are suing about. Often that is ridiculous but jurors take them seriously as they have no real context. So what do you do to level the playing field?
Here are a few suggestions:
1). Don't volunteer information. Some IME doctors seem approachable and attempt to engage the injured victims sent their way. Some of this is innocuous, some of it sinister. If the doctor can extract a nugget of information from you that isn't in the medical records and suggests that you areen't really that hurt, it can torpedo your case.
2). Pay attention. Time how long the doctor spends with you. Note what they have you do. Do they ever touch you or the injured part of your body? Once you are done immediately write down all of the proceeding information. An exam of five minutes duration where the doctor in no way examines your injured body part and yet was paid $1500.00 by the insurance company is suspect even to jurors and judges.
3). Bring someone with you who can indpendently verify that you were only with the doctor for five minutes and who can note that you emerged from the exam and expressed shock that the medical examiner never tested any aspect of your injured body part.
4). Be aware that many doctors like to observe your arrival at their premises,so they can testify that they noted you had no limp in the parking lot but developed one in their office. another good reason to bring someone with you.
5). Finally, understand what injuries you claim are the result of the auto or truck accident. You may be asked to fill out a questionaire or be asked some questions and while we recommend you not answer such things, some people have trouble not being cooperative. If there is an issue call your lawyer!