During the course of your claim for personal injuries, your lawyer will arrange for you to attend Doctors or other health specialists for what are known as legal medical examinations.
The timing of these medical examinations is important as they must occur when your injuries are stable and stationary and you have reached maximum medical improvement. This will allow the Doctors to make definite conclusions.
The Doctors and other specialists you attend will not treat you and some will not answer any questions you may have. Their role is to examine you and provide a report to your lawyer or the insurer. The main issues dealt with in these reports are your permanent impairment in percentage terms, how the injuries will effect your future work and the need for and costs of any future treatment or surgery.
The type of Doctor or specialist you will attend will depend on the injuries you have suffered. If you have suffered a fractured bone you will attend an Orthopaedic Surgeon. If you have suffered a back injury you may attend a Neurosurgeon. If you have psychological injuries a Psychiatrist should examine you. In most claims, you will also attend an Occupational Therapist, an expert in how injuries affect employment.
You will generally attend medico legal Doctors for your purposes and your lawyer will arrange the appointment and pay for the reports on your behalf. Your lawyer will have you attend Doctors and specialists who will provide reports supporting your injuries and claim.
The insurer is entitled to have you examined by a Doctor also. Ironically insurers refer to these appointments as IMEs or Independent Medical Examinations. Insurers obviously use Doctors that they think will assist them in the defence of your claim and you will find that the insurers Doctors usually make conclusions less favourable than the Doctors your lawyer sent you to. You should not be alarmed or insulted if that occurs.
Your lawyer will be able to fully advise you on these medical and legal issues to ensure that you fully understand the process and what is likely to occur.
Your Claim Lawyers are specialists in personal injury claims. Please call us on 1800 968 725 or 0400 839 314 for a free consultation.