Independent medical examinations (IMEs) are a core part of any personal injury case. If your law firm frequently works as defense counsel in these cases, then you've probably used numerous independent medical examiners in the past. IMEs are critical to receiving clear and unbiased information about a plaintiff's condition and are necessary for any thorough defense.
While there are likely to be many doctors working as independent medical examiners in any given area, it can be beneficial to establish a long-term working relationship with one instead of frequently switching between providers. If your firm doesn't currently have a "preferred" independent examiner, here are three reasons you may want to start cultivating that relationship.
1. Consistent Results
Receiving consistent results from your medical examiner is critical to establishing their credibility and providing actionable information for your clients. Since your medical examiner will likely meet with the plaintiff multiple times through a case, it's important to receive information between visits that's reliable and comparable.
Working with the same provider will also allow the attorneys in your firm to understand the results of their examinations better. This long-term consistency means it'll be easier and quicker to interpret the results of an examination, helping you to put this information to work more quickly in your defense case.
2. Specialized Expertise
Every personal injury case has unique characteristics, but injuries tend to broadly fall into a few categories. For example, slip and fall cases often have different outcomes from workplace-related injuries. Although orthopedists treat all of these injuries, many specialize in specific cases and types of damage.
Working with an examiner specializing in injuries related to the cases your firm typically handles may produce better results. These examiners can more quickly recognize common injuries and provide more reliable reports. They may also be better at spotting indications that the plaintiff's legal team is overstating the nature or extent of the plaintiff's injuries.
Many independent medical examiners work as contractors and effectively provide these services as a side business. As a result, availability can sometimes be an issue. However, it's also sometimes necessary to quickly schedule an IME, especially if you want to evaluate a patient during specific stages of their treatment.
Establishing a relationship with an examiner can mean moving your firm higher on their priority list, making it more likely that they'll be available when you need them. While urgency may not be an issue in all cases, having an examiner ready to help when you need a quick turnaround can be highly beneficial.
To speak with potential partners, contact an independent medical evaluation clinic in your area.