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An Independent Medical Examination (known and hereinafter referred to as an ”IME”) is a tool utilized by insurance carriers wherein they examine their own insured pursuant to their auto insurance policy in an effort to suspend their medical benefits or curtail their medical treatment under Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Do not confuse an IME with a CME (Compulsory Medical Examination), which is discussed under a separate question. For the purpose of this discussion, an IME, is ordered by your insurance carrier prior to a lawsuit being filed. CME’s are requested by either insurance carrier (i.e., the at fault party’s carrier or your own insurance carrier) when the case is in litigation as a tool to defeat the lawsuit or at least mitigate damages.

Keep in mind that there is very little that is “independent” about this type of examination. The IME, is generally conducted by a physician retained by the applicable insurance carrier. We have seen the same IME physicians time and again. In fact, IME physicians often produce the same report over and over regardless of the complaints and presentation of the injury victim. The insurance carrier hand picks the IME physician based on prior experiences and what they can expect.

In order to seek an IME, the insurance carrier must show that the mental or physical condition of an injured person who is covered under PIP is material to a claim for first-party medical benefits. If the mental or physical condition of the claimant is at issue, the applicable insurance carrier can require the individual submit to an examination.

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