When you’re the victim of a car wreck, you have every right to seek compensation for any damages you’ve suffered. There are times, however, that the insurance company involved in your case may believe that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim. This could set the stage for the defense to seek an independent medical examination on the victim. 

Why isn’t your doctor’s opinion good enough? Well, the defense may think that your doctor has a bias toward you that clouds their judgment. If a second doctor agrees with their assessment, it will bolster your claim.

So what happens next? Typically, the party that requests the independent medical examination is the one who will have to pay for it. As the victim, you may opt to have your attorney in the exam with you. This is often done because the medical professional might try to poke holes in the victim’s story about what happened. 

You may also be able to exert some control over who does the consultative exam. You and the other party may have to negotiate until you decide on a physician that you’re both willing to use.

When you attend the exam, remember: The role of an independent medical examiner isn’t to determine a treatment plan for you. Instead, they are looking to determine whether your injuries could have been caused by the accident and how serious those injuries really are. You will likely be asked about your functional limitations, your medical history and more.

Having to undergo an independent medical examination is fairly standard in many personal injury claims. You should discuss the possibility of having one with your attorney so you can find out what to expect.