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Understanding Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) for Personal Injury Claims

When you're involved in a personal injury claim, it's likely you'll need to attend an Independent Medical Examination, often called an IME. This process can seem complex, so here's a simplified guide to help you understand what to expect.

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) plays a crucial role in the personal injury claim process. It involves a specialised medical appointment where a doctor, evaluates injuries, assesses treatment needs, and determines the impact on an individual’s well-being.  This independent examination helps determine the progress of recovery and potential future requirements.

What is the independent medical exam?

The Independent Medical Examination (IME) is a type of medical appointment that’s part of the personal injury claim process. An IME can be arranged by various parties involved in your claim, such as your insurance company, the person you’re claiming against (the defendant), or your own lawyer.

IMEs have a few different purposes:

    • Evaluating your injuries and deciding what treatment you need.
    • Checking your progress in recovering and getting back to work.
    • Working out how much compensation you’re entitled to and what you might need in the future because of your injuries.

What is the process of the IME?

The person or organization requesting the IME is known as the “referrer”. They choose a doctor who specialises in your type of injury to perform the examination. In worker’s compensation claims, you get to choose your doctor from a list of three. You’ll be given at least 10 working days’ notice before your appointment, and it will be arranged at a time that’s convenient for you. You will also receive all necessary details about the appointment, such as the time, location, and the name of the doctor you’ll be seeing.

Your Role in the IME

It is best to confirm your appointment as soon as you can. If you can’t attend for any reason, you’ll need to tell the referrer why. If you have specific needs (like an interpreter or a support person), let the referrer know as soon as you can. Make sure to bring all medical reports or images (like x-ray or MRI) to your appointment. Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove for the physical examination. If you need help with travel or accommodation costs, tell the referrer immediately.

The Role of a Support Person in the IME

  • You might want to bring a friend or family member to support you during your appointment.
  • You’ll need to inform the doctor and receptionist if you’re bringing someone along.
  • Remember, this person can’t answer questions or comment on your behalf during the examination.

What Happens During the IME Appointment?

The doctor will review all the documents provided by the referrer. They’ll then perform a physical examination and ask you questions about your medical history and your injury. They must conduct the examination professionally and respectfully.

What happens after an IME Appointment? in Australia?

The doctor will write a report based on the examination and send it to the referrer. You can get a copy of this report if it’s used to dispute your claim or alter your compensation.

What To Do If There’s a Problem

If you’re uncomfortable or unhappy during the examination, let the doctor know right away.

  • If the issue isn’t resolved, you can raise a complaint with the referrer or your lawyer.
  • If your claim is related to worker’s compensation or a motor vehicle accident, you can also complain to the Independent Review Office or the SIRA customer service centre.

Remember, the purpose of the IME is not to give you medical advice or treatment. It’s to provide an independent opinion about your injury for the claim process.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope it helped your understanding of Independent Medical Exams. Should you have any further questions, please contact our office at (02) 8329 9500 or complete a free case assessment here.

 

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Emma Perkins

Joining Garling and Co in 2019, Emma brings to the team a deep knowledge and understanding of Personal Injury Law. Since her admission in 2009, she has specialised in the fields of workers' compensation, victims' compensation, public liability, motor...
Lisa L.
05:18 13 Jul 24
Outstanding service and commitment to my case was delivered from the first point of contact right until the end of my successful case.Highest recommendations to the team at Garling and Co. Matthew... got me an excellent result and was available and informative throughout the entire foreign process of legal proceedings. He was wonderful and so was his team.If i could rate higher than 5 stars i would!read more
J B
07:12 02 Jul 24
Matthew Garling and all of the team were extremely professional and supportive throughout what was a very long and arduous CTP battle. I am happy with the result and feel that their fees were fair... and well deserved.read more
Nelson B.
02:11 30 Jun 24
Professional, prompt & honest service
Brad M.
02:19 28 Jun 24
I worked with Garling & Co for 3+ years, the team has been incredible and I could not have been happier with Kerry's support and the results produced!I highly recommend choosing them as your... representatives!!read more
Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
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Lisa L.
05:18 13 Jul 24
Outstanding service and commitment to my case was delivered from the first point of contact right until the end of my successful case.Highest recommendations to the team at Garling and Co. Matthew... got me an excellent result and was available and informative throughout the entire foreign process of legal proceedings. He was wonderful and so was his team.If i could rate higher than 5 stars i would!read more
J B
07:12 02 Jul 24
Matthew Garling and all of the team were extremely professional and supportive throughout what was a very long and arduous CTP battle. I am happy with the result and feel that their fees were fair... and well deserved.read more
Nelson B.
02:11 30 Jun 24
Professional, prompt & honest service
Brad M.
02:19 28 Jun 24
I worked with Garling & Co for 3+ years, the team has been incredible and I could not have been happier with Kerry's support and the results produced!I highly recommend choosing them as your... representatives!!read more
Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
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University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
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