If you are advancing an injury claim in Ontario, your insurance company or the insurance company for the at-fault-party will probably demand that you attend anIndependent Medical Examination also referred to as the IME. You will have no real choice here. If you decide not to attend the IME, the insurance company will cut-off benefits on the basis that you have failed to participate in the examination. If you do attend, there is high likelihood that the assessing physician will write a report in favour of the insurance company, which will then support a denial of your claim. You might be thinking that an impartial doctor should be involved to help resolve disputes between the victims and insurance companies. You would be right in such an assessment - the problem, however, is that the physicians conducting the IME are not independent and certainly not impartial.
The term for the assessment is designed to mislead and give the impression that the victims are to be examined by an independent physician or medical provider that will give an impartial and fair assessment of injuries. In reality, however, there is absolutely nothing independent about the IME or the physician conducting the IME. In fact, the physician chosen to assess you is typically handpicked by the insurance company and is paid handsomely by the insurance company. Most of these physicians perform the IME on contract for an assessment company that is in business to do IME work on behalf of the insurance industry. These are for-profit businesses that specifically service the large insurance companies. The physicians earn thousands of dollars to regularly assess accident victims and write reports for the insurance company.
As an Ontario personal injury lawyer, I regularly see the same doctors time and again doing assessments and reports on behalf of the insurance companies in Ontario. Time and again these doctors write predictable reports entirely favourable to the insurance company. Routinely, the insurance companies deny claims on the basis of the medical opinion from their handpicked doctor, all while entirely ignoring the opinions of the involved treating doctors, such as family doctors and specialists. The IME physician will generally only see the victim for at-most one hour, and never establish an physician-patient relationship. Most of the assessment is conducted by way of an interview. In the end, the IME doctor will likely disagree with opinions of specialists and family doctors that have been treating the victim for months and sometimes years. It is truly mind boggling that an insurance company is allowed to entirely ignore the opinion of the front-line doctors who are actually involved in the patient's care and, instead, defer to the opinions of a doctor of their choosing. It happens every single day in Ontario.
If your insurance company is asking you to attend an IME, you should have an experienced injury lawyer on your side. For a FREE CONSULTATION call us toll free at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
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