Every day, people are injured in car accidents and seek fair compensation for their injuries. And, every day, auto liability companies such as Geico, State Farm and Allstate pay large sums of money to a stable of medical “experts” who testify on behalf of the at-fault drivers they insure.
The question is whether these payments, in some cases of millions of dollars, affect the neutral and detached judgments of these doctors? The answer to this question is simple: would multibillion-dollar companies continue to pay them if this were not the case?
Reliably, so-called IMEs, or Independent Medical Examinations, provide a treasure trove of trial testimony in personal injury cases, calculated to undermine the injured party’s claims. Interestingly, the attorneys representing the accident victims can tell you who the “usual suspects” are.
In the DMV, there have been legendary doctors who are repeatedly called out to say an aggrieved party has overtreated or faked it, much to the benefit of insurance companies.
How do qualified damages lawyers thwart this insidious practice? The answer is twofold.
First, these physicians systematically overlook or ignore certain medical records that would refute their opinions. Sometimes it’s an MRI showing a structural injury that is clearly the cause of the crash victim’s lingering symptoms. Or, maybe a physical from a family doctor a year before the accident reports no back problems for someone whose operation is disputed by the liability insurer and he is a doctor engaged.
This requires a skilled plaintiff’s attorney who takes the time to learn about your medical records and what they mean.
Second, follow the money. IME doctors charge a lot for their services. The most sought after can earn millions of dollars just by testifying and are often evasive about it when questioned at trial. Thus, the best practice is to take a deposition from the IME physician before trial and request all tax records reflecting expert witness payments from insurers.
While these doctors are often reluctant to provide these records, the courts compel them to do so. Sometimes these doctors lose their desire to testify once their little jackpot has been discovered.
So beware of liability insurance doctors, they are not there to help you. Learn more at: https://www.maryland-law.com/blog/keeping-ime-doctors-honest-in-your-car-accident-case.cfm