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Independent/Defense Medical Exams

As part of a personal injury claim, you may be asked to submit to a medical examination. You are probably dreading the prospect of being examined by an unknown physician or chiropractor. That is totally normal. At the same time, submitting to an exam can be necessary to move your case forward. It is therefore important to understand the purpose of these exams and what you can do to best prepare.

Types of Examinations

There are two main types of medical exams in a personal injury case. The first is referred to as an independent medical examination (IME) which has been scheduled by your own insurance company via the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your auto insurance policy. In this instance your insurance carrier is trying to ascertain your medical status to see if it can justifiably refuse to pay for treatment.

The second type is a defense medical examination (DME) that has been scheduled by the defense when your claim is in litigation. The defense will use this exam to diminish or defeat your claims of injury and the necessity of treatment.

What To Expect

The examiner will be a chiropractor, physical therapist or medical doctor who has reviewed your medical records and any other documents provided to him/her. At the appointment he or she will first ask interview questions to get some background on your version of the facts and your resulting pain symptoms and injuries. He or she will then examine you to determine the cause and extent of injury and supply an opinion as to the past and future medical treatment needed, whether maximum medical improvement has been reached, and whether any permanent impairment exists. Remember that you do not have a doctor-patient relationship with this examiner and nothing you say is confidential.

What To Do During An Examination

When an IME/DME has been scheduled for you, it is important to do the following:

  1. Tell the truth: The most important thing about an IME or DME is to be truthful and be yourself. If you exaggerate or lie, you put your credibility in serious doubt, and that will damage your case significantly.
  2. Do not exaggerate: Many people have a tendency to exaggerate, even on accident, in order to prove that they are right. Be very careful not to exaggerate your injuries and pain. These doctors are trained to detect exaggeration and your case will be weakened if they believe you are doing so.
  3. Organize your thoughts: Take a little time to sit down and organize your thoughts. Recall the specific areas of your body that were injured and in which you have felt pain or weakness. It will be critical to provide a complete and accurate description of your injuries and pain complaints, so take the time to mentally relive this difficult portion of time in your life. Also, never discuss prior or unrelated pain complaints and/or injuries unless specifically asked by the doctor.
  4. Support: You can bring a family member or friend to the appointment with you. Not only can they offer moral support, but they can monitor the length of time you are in the exam and can attest to their observations (if necessary) before and after the examination. It is likely that someone from our office may be able to accompany you to the examination as well.
  5. Be punctual: Be on time or even slightly early for your examination.
  6. Be respectful: Be courteous with everyone you encounter in the office. Even if you get frustrated or feel uncomfortable, it is very important to be polite. Everything you do will be documented at this visit.
  7. Only answer the question asked: When responding to the doctor’s questions listen carefully to what is being asked, and only answer the specific question asked, nothing more. Do not volunteer any additional information.
  8. Focus on the location of the pain: You will be asked about your injuries and pain symptoms. It can be helpful in fully describing each and every injury you suffered to begin with your head and work down your body to your feet. Be sure to address the parts of your body that still cause you pain and limitation. If at any time during the examination you are experiencing pain, be sure and tell the doctor.
  9. Do not sign paperwork without talking to us: As a general rule, do not sign anything that has not been reviewed and approved by our office.
  10. The exam begins when you arrive: You are being watched the entire time you arrive at the examiner’s office and possibly even after you leave and make your way to your car. Be aware of what you say and how you behave at all times.
  11. Don’t share medical documents: Do not take any documents, x-rays or medical reports to the exam unless instructed by us to do so.
  12. Don’t ask the examiner for medical advice: Do not ask the doctor to give you any opinions about your injury or your case.
  13. Don’t let other doctors examine you: No other doctor should examine you or even be present other than the specific doctor scheduled to see you.
  14. You can take notes: You or your witness should feel free to take notes during or after the examination. This would include any observations, thoughts, questions or comments you may have about the exam. Share this with our office.
  15. It is normal to fee anxious about an upcoming medical exam. Please call us if you have any additional questions or concerns before your appointment. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during this process.

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Did a great job in handling my case. Quick and professional. Communicated with me every step of the way and the end result was more than expected. I highly reccomend and am forever grateful.

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Gracias por su amable atencion estoy muy satisfecha con los servicios de ustedes los recomiendo estube en las mejores manos muchas gracias ppr preucuparce de mi y de mi hija lucharon por lo justo gracias avogados por luchar por los derechos de las personas

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Very thankful to Park Chenaur for handling my case quickly and efficiently. Very compassionate team. They make sure you are comfortable and educated in your options and work hard to get you the results you deserve. My case manager Mitchel was great and helped me really understand my options and each step of the process.

Sidonie

I was 8n a car accident in January of 2017. The first call I made was to these guys… they where awsome Lola came to my house and got started right away. They maintained contact with me and kept me informed via email and phone.. I received the medical care I needed and they fought to get that reimbursement. . And after everything I feel I got a fair deal. I highly recommend them. Also liandra is very kind and helpful…Thank you guys so much

Paisley

My boyfriend and i worked with Mr. Pustzai on a car accident case. Working with him and his team was nothing short of amazing. They were there for us every step of the way, from the incident until the final court days and beyond that. I have always been able to reach out to Vita and Mr.Pustzai with any questions and get a quick response. They show empathy and are personable as well as very professional! Thank you so much for your work.

Jenalysse

Mr. Park was understanding, extraordinarily competent, and hard working. His advice and guidance every step of the way was invaluable and extremely helpful. He was always very easy to reach by phone or email, kept me updated on all aspects of the case and succeeded in getting me a fair and generous settlement.

Ashlea

When you talk with them they are able to walk you through your case step-by-step, and they are able to make you understand each and every aspect of your case.

John

They handled my case very professionally. They were always very helpful, always available, very kind and great to work with. I felt like I was treated like family.

Sally

They just made me feel really secure that they were going to do their best and they were going to fight for me. It just felt nice to have someone care enough to want to do that for us.

Ashlea

My wife and son were in a collision in February, Mitchell was amazing. He made our family feel very cared for and took care of everything for us. A very competent and professional person. If I ever have any issues again I know the first place I’m going. Thanks Mitchell

Kyle

My case recently closed and I am glad to have worked with Mitchel Pinedo during the entire process. I did not know how to deal with this situation as I had never been in a car accident before. I was not well health wise and neither was my mother. I lost my car as it was totaled and I was not at fault. Mitchel handled the case and exceeded all expectations. He kept me updated and answered all of my questions. Mitchel is very professional and was always punctual to our meetings. I highly recommend you to see Mitchel if you are in need of a great lawyer.

Lucia Martinez

I first worked with Kimberly Yoon about 10 years ago for an auto accident case. Though I had no knowledge of legal procedures, she was so patient and sincerely empathetic. So when I was involved in another auto accident, I knew she was the best person to call. Her level of experience and client care exceeded my expectations. Her assistant, Michael, is just as caring and quick to follow up as she is. Thank you very much for eliminating much of the stress that follows an accident and ensuring that your client gets the best care!

Mira Jeong

Park Chenaur is the best! I’ve been referring people to Kimberly Yoon for the last three years because she’s amazing! She works hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case and really makes you feel great as a client. My mom was in a auto accident last year and Kimberly was able to get her well above what we were expecting. Thanks again Kim & Park Chenaur!

Justina Cummins

My mother and I worked with Mitchel Pinedo after our car accident and all I can say is he’s truly wonderful. He made the entire process easy to understand and was extremely helpful. It was our first time seeking out a lawyer and having him help us from start to finish made the whole experience much better and stress free.

Eve Torres

I have had a positive experience and will continue to recommended to friends and family. I could not have asked for a better firm or attorney for not one but several cases. Park Chenaur & Associates are honest, courteous, friendly, knowledgeable, and have been very important and good to me for several years. I highly recommend!

Miranda Meier

Very happy with the end result. Never thought I would get a million. Great friendly hard working people. Thanks again.

Ryan Caldara