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I’ve Scheduled an IME: Now What?
An Independent Medical Exam (IME) can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. You’ve seen doctors in the past. You’ve told the story of “how it happened” countless times. But what should you say to this doctor? If you say the wrong thing, will it affect your case? What can the Legal Nurse who’s attending the appointment with you do to help?
The answer is: Be Honest and Credible.
Before your appointment, your attending Legal Nurse will reach out to discuss the appointment. She’ll discuss the medical aspects of your case and what you can expect while you’re at the appointment. Following this, it’s good to do a brief refresher of your medical history. After the incident, which doctors did you see, what treatments did you have, and what are the current symptoms or areas of pain you’re having now? Though the doctor will have the medical records, it’s good that you also know these details.
On the day of the exam, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment to meet with the Legal Nurse and check -in at the office. Dress in attire that is comfortable as the doctor may have you perform physical tests during the exam. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re seeing this doctor because of an injury lawsuit. Don’t allow your clothing to indicate to the doctor that you’ve been engaging in activities that wouldn’t be possible with your injuries (i.e. high heels if you have a leg injury).
During the exam, your job is to be credible and honest. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms by the way you speak or act if it’s not so. If something hurts, say so, but keep in mind that it’s also okay to have had improvement or to have had previously injured areas get better. Be honest about what medications you’re taking and how often. And, be honest about the daily activities that have been affected because of the incident. If you used to play baseball weekly but can’t anymore, say so. It’s these sorts of things that will help a judge or jury understand how this incident has affected your life in a major way.
You may be thinking, if I’m being honest and upfront, why is a Legal Nurse attending this appointment with me? The Legal Nurse is there as part of your legal team to be your witness and to advocate on your behalf. She will audio record the entire appointment and provide a written summary to your attorney of everything that happened during your exam. She will object on your behalf if the doctor is asking unnecessary questions or redirect the doctor if he’s asking questions not related to your case. In addition, she’s there to support you. Occasionally, the doctor will get so caught up in getting through the appointment that he loses a sense for when the patient is uncomfortable. If the Legal Nurse notices that a particular portion of the verbal or physical exam is causing you pain (physically or emotionally), she will ask the doctor to take a break or to allow you to reposition in the exam room.
Your IME will play an important role in your case. As your Legal Nurse, Newton Legal Nurse Consultants are happy to answer any questions or offer advice leading up to the exam. We want you to confidently walk into the exam knowing that your team of lawyers will support you in every aspect of your case.