What is an Independent Medical Exam
When a person injured by another party’s negligence files a lawsuit against the negligent party, California state law allows the defendant in the personal injury action to request the plaintiff submit to an “independent medical examination,” commonly referred to as an IME. Despite the name, such examinations are rarely independent. In most cases, the medical professionals a person is referred to are specifically chosen by the defendant’s insurance company and may testify against the plaintiff.
You should never agree to submit to an IME without first retaining legal counsel. If you suffered serious injuries in a workplace accident anywhere in Southern California, it is in your best interest to quickly contact the Los Angeles Injury Group. Call (310) 954-7248 to receive a free consultation.
Your Rights During an IME in California
The state laws governing IMEs in California are established under California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 2032.010-2032.650. California Code of Civil Procedure § 2032.220 provides that in any case in which a plaintiff is seeking recovery for personal injuries, the defendant can demand one physical examination of the plaintiff when both of the following conditions are satisfied:
- The IME does not include any diagnostic test or procedure that is painful, protracted, or intrusive.
- The IME is conducted at a location within 75 miles of the residence of the examinee.
A plaintiff generally has 20 days to respond to an IME demand. When a plaintiff does comply with an IME, he or she still enjoys certain rights provided by certain state laws.
Some of these rights include:
- Right to Have an Attorney or Representative Present — Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 2032.510(a), a plaintiff’s attorney is allowed to attend and observe a physical examination conducted for discovery purposes. He or she can also record any words spoken to or by the examinee during any phase of the IME.
- Right to Limited Questioning — A plaintiff is expected to be cooperative and provide answers to certain questions about his or her injuries such as how they occurred, how they have been treated, and how they are currently affecting the victim. A plaintiff, however, should not be answering any questions relating to unrelated liability issues or other areas that are outside the scope of an IME.
Find a Workplace Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Are you being asked to submit to an IME after sustaining a serious injury in a workplace accident in Southern California? You should refuse to comply with that demand until you have legal representation, contact the Los Angeles Injury Group as soon as possible.
Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can fight to make sure you obtain all of the compensation you need and deserve for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (310) 954-7248 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.