Beware of Independent Medical Evaluations in Georgia Personal Injury Cases


May 02, 2011

If you suffer serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or workplace accident involving heavy machinery, you may face months and even years of pain, medical care and rehabilitative therapy.

The stress and anxiety that accompany injuries suffered in a serious accident are all the more troubling when a medical “professional” working for an insurance company claims that you suffered minor or no injuries. Most people presume that doctors who spend their lives devoted to the care of patients are generally honest and fair when conducting medical exams. Sadly, this may not always be true when it comes to so called “independent medical exams” conducted by doctors hired and paid by insurance companies.

These medical exams are often cursory or done by reviewing records without examining the patient.  They can result in ten page reports concluding that a serious accident victim suffered minor or no injuries. The doctors that provide these reports are often semi-retired or work exclusively with insurance companies testifying for the defense in injury cases from 25 to 95 percent of the time. Though these medical experts are called independent, in too many cases they are not remotely fair or objective. They understand that their job is to minimize an accident victim’s injuries and assist the insurance carrier in avoiding paying out substantial damages for pain and suffering or disability.  Independent medical examinations can and should be fair.  A good lawyer representing you can help make sure that the doctor you see is agreed upon beforehand and will give you a fair examination.

A quote published in the New York Times by an independent medical examiner put it succinctly, “If you did a truly pure report, you’d be out on your ears and the insurers wouldn’t pay for it. You have to give them what they want, or you’re in Florida. That’s the game, baby.”

It is almost appalling to think that this quote is from a professional physician but sheds light on the dishonesty and fraud that is rampant in supposedly fair independent medical evaluations. Many of these exams are less than two minutes in duration and involve no significant diagnostic tests or imaging that would produce more objective results. Thousands of these exams are conducted in Georgia annually in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

If you are seriously injured, our experienced personal injury lawyers will carefully review and analyze the report produced by these insurance company hired doctors or make sure you see a truly independent physician to begin with. Our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys diligently pursue compensation that our clients are entitled to in the face of tainted “independent" medical exams.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a serious personal injury accident, contact our experienced Atlanta personal injury law firm for your free consultation. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.