New Mexico Car Accidents: What is an IME and How Can it Help or Hurt Your Case?

- Mark Caruso

Understanding How IMEs can Affect a New Mexico Car Accident Lawsuit and Your Compensation

There are many moving parts to any personal injury lawsuit.  There are also many medical records, treatment notes, and healthcare providers involved in most personal injury lawsuits.  This means there is a lot of medical evidence or testimony.  Most of the medical evidence and testimony is generally favorable to the plaintiff’s treatment.  This is because these individuals are treating physicians and healthcare providers who have one thing in common; taking care of and healing the plaintiff’s personal injuries after a car accident.

However, there are other types of doctors that could come into play.  In any personal injury lawsuit, there is the option for a defendant or defendants to hire their own physician to perform an examination of the plaintiff.  This is called an independent medical examination, or an IME.  These types of examinations are directed by the defense attorney, paid for by the defense attorney, and the report is first given to the defense.  The “independent” part of the examination clearly seems to be lacking.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a New Mexico car accident, you will likely end up having to submit to an IME with a doctor chosen by the defense attorney.  This is a skewed procedure, even though it is set up to be “independent.”  You need to have an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney represent you to ensure your rights are protected, such as the attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We will help advise how we can help protect your rights to compensation.

Why IMEs Are Allowed in New Mexico

While a plaintiff has several treating healthcare providers who are essentially advocating for his or her health, the defendant does not have any.  All of the medical providers and evidence come straight from the plaintiff’s providers who see the plaintiff regularly and who are paid by the plaintiff.  This is skewed for the plaintiff.

This is why the defendant is allowed to have his or her own doctor perform an examination of the plaintiff.  This allows the defendant to get their own physician to formulate an opinion as to the plaintiff’s injuries.  This doctor is used to check the care rendered by plaintiff’s healthcare providers to ensure it is proper.

The bottom line, however, is that a properly noticed examination by an IME doctor is required.  This means means that a victim does have to go to an IME, otherwise the victim’s case could be dismissed.

How to Turn a Defendant’s IME Doctor and Report Against Them

Given that a defendant’s IME doctor issues a report that is paid for by the defendant, that is strong fodder for a good plaintiff’s attorney to poke holes in the bias.  But this will not be enough.  An experienced New Mexico car accident attorney will also be able to make several other arguments to attack the propriety of an IME report.

This includes that the IME doctor is determining what could be years of pain and suffering, treatment, and disability of a victim after just a 30 minute examination.  It is simply not possible for one examination to determine a victim’s entire set of injuries from a motor vehicle accident which could have occurred years ago.

Another main point is where the IME doctor does not review all of the records or does not have the original imaging studies.  There are two ways to attack this.  The first way is that the IME doctor is simply not using all of the objective evidence to make a determination as to the care and treatment of the plaintiff.  The second way to attack this is that the IME doctor is just using the radiology reports but likely coming to a different conclusion than the treating physicians who have looked at both the radiology reports and the actual imaging studies.  This undermines the IME doctor and helps your case in front of the jury!

IME Reports and New Mexico Car Accidents: How to Use These Reports Against Defendants 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.