If I have been injured in a car accident, do I have to go to the insurance company's doctor to be examined?

Yes. Your No-Fault insurance company is entitled to have you examined by a doctor of their choosing. Your No-Fault insurance company will call this an Independent Medical Exam, or IME. Ideally, the IME should be “Independent” or objective. However, these doctors are being paid by your No-Fault insurance company generally with the goal of cutting off your No-Fault benefits. Your No-Fault benefits will no longer be paid if the IME states that you can go back to work or no longer need certain medical treatment.

If the No-Fault insurance company denies further treatment, you can fight that denial by arbitration or litigation. You should be aware that once you place the bill into arbitration you have been deemed to have elected your remedy and you will have no choice but to place all future bill disputes from the same accident into arbitration. Please be further advised that if you choose arbitration, you have a limited number of days to file your claim. Please refer to your no-fault denial form regarding how many days you have to file your arbitration claim if you wish to choose this option.

If you choose litigation, there is a statute of limitations of six (6) years from the date that the insurer denies the claim in which you must commence an action, or in the case of self-insured entities, there is a time limit of three (3) years.

It is important to note that if the court or arbitrator holds that the injuries are not a result of the subject motor vehicle accident, you will be barred from bringing a claim for personal injuries against any possible tortfeasor that injured you in that motor vehicle accident.

You also have the option of paying for medical treatment yourself or using your private health insurance. You should be aware that your private health insurance may be entitled to lien against any settlement or verdict.

Please note that if you do not attend the IME your No-Fault insurance company will deny all your benefits immediately.

If you have an upcoming IME, please contact Heather R. La Dieu, Esq. at (315) 471-1164 with any questions.

Personal Injury